MIAA chief opens COVID-19 hotline

MANILA International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Ed Monreal opened a COVID-19 hotline to ensure the proper implementation of procedures in maintaining a safe and healthy working environment in the workplace amidst the pandemic.

“The government is making efforts to lessen the unwanted impact of the pandemic in our economy.  Being a vital part of the aviation industry, airports must keep operations going.  Our employees are essential to our operations and the best we can do is give them a safe workplace,” Monreal said.

While ramping up its efforts against the pandemic, the MIAA also created the COVID-19 Task Force to secure the response of health-related services on suspected cases of COVID-19. 

The said task force established occupational safety and health standards to prevent, control and mitigate the spread of this infectious disease.  

Monreal said that in order to ensure immediate response, Hotline 3187, a 24/7 dedicated extension line, was established where queries of MIAA personnel and that of its service providers may be directed.

In addition, he said precautionary measures such as “No Mask, No Entry”are strictly implemented at the airport grounds. And temperature checks at entry points have been set in place.  When an individual registers a 38-degree centigrade temperature even after five minutes rest, the guard on duty shall advise the Task Force through the COVID-19 hotline for proper response.

At the workplace, employees shall observe physical distancing, good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.  They are also encouraged to self-monitor signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and if the exposure to the virus is suspected, the employee is immediately isolated and reported to the COVID-19 hotline.

Monreal said the responding medical team will assess the employee and depending on the severity of condition, coordination with the nearest hospital or the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) where the employee resides is done.

On confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Task Force orders disinfection procedures at the workplace.  Contact tracing of individuals with probable exposure to the infected person is also conducted.Co-workers who have been exposed to the person are ordered to undergo a 14-day home quarantine and are directed to report to their respective BHERTs for further assessment and monitoring.

After the quarantine period and after testing negative in confirmatory tests, the employee is required to submit a certification from the BHERT, City Health Office or a medical facility recognized by the Department of Health stating that he is fit to report back to work.

As of July 23, MIAA’s total active cases are 41.  Since March 2020 to date, MIAA has a total of 60 COVID cases among its ranks.  Of the number, 19  have already recovered.

On July 22, the MIAA conducted free rapid testing for its employees.  Several rounds of testing will be done thrice a week within the next weeks for other employees.