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The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila will be adopting a strict work-from-home arrangement for employees for the next two weeks to slow down COVID-19 infections.

Members of the PLM COVID-19 Task Force held an emergency meeting on Sunday and decided to restrict access to its Intramuros campus beginning Monday, August 3.

The decision was due to rising active, probable, and suspected cases within campus. There are currently four confirmed cases, with two recovered patients and one fatality among employees. There are also three probable and one suspect cases. University officials are monitoring their situation as well as that of their close contacts. While records do not suggest that there is community transmission in campus, PLM is taking these steps as precautionary measures.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso strongly approved the recommendation of the PLM COVID-19 Task Force. Last Friday, he ordered the temporary closure of the Ospital ng Maynila after several frontliners acquired the coronavirus.

PLM’s two-week lockdown is also a prompt response to the call of health care workers for a timeout to give them breathing room after months of manning the front lines of the local COVID-19 fight. As a University which produces doctors, nurses and medical professionals, we believe it is necessary to respond to the public health crisis by listening to science and the inputs of medical experts.

“We are taking this two-week timeout as an extra precaution as we acknowledge the current health situation in our campus, in the City of Manila, and in the country. We are hoping that in our own way, we can prevent further COVID-19 infections within our community,” University President Emmanuel Leyco said.

The University will allow a very limited number of employees to report to work starting this week, which will be those who are deemed as highly essential and cannot bring home their workload such as IT and server maintenance staff, disinfection and sanitation crew, and security personnel. As practiced, visitors are not allowed to enter campus grounds. Document submissions will be accepted as deliveries.

All transactions will be carried out fully online in the next two weeks, including the registration period for freshmen which starts August 3. Other requirements and processes will have to be coursed through e-mail with respective departments and offices concerned.

During the downtime, PLM officials will review and reassess plans and protocols in its existing COVID-19 mitigation and disinfection measures to ensure a more effective response. PLM is also setting aside funds to buy rapid test kits, which it will use to test employees who will return to work.

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