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By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — GREENHILLS Shopping Center is now a “No Face Mask, No Entry” zone.
So, be informed that if you are planning to visit the popular shopping enclave in San Juan City, Metro Manila, better be wearing that piece of cloth in your face.
Otherwise, go get that face covering which the global pandemic novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has made a health fad to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus.
San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora lauded the mall’s ban on visitors to Greenhills and its “Tiyangge” (market) who do not wear a mask.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora. (File photo)
Medical experts have cited the important function of masks in preventing the spread of the virus.
The city chief executive conducted an on-site inspection on July 4 of the Greenhills Mall and the “Tiangge” that was opened only recently. He liked what he saw.
Under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) which replaced the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), the government has eased the anti-coronavirus restrictions as businesses and other establishments are allowed to operate.
With this semblance of some normality in Filipinos’ lives thousands of workers are slowly reporting for work. But make no mistake, Covid-19, the unseen enemy, is still there and poised, like a coiled serpent, to strike.
That is what Zamora wants to prevent — more transmission and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen that originated in Wuhan City, province of Hubei, China, in December 2019.
To achieve this, he wanted the mall management, tenants, and visitors to strictly abide by the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and its Executive Order on the shift from MECQ to GCQ.
Don’t be complacent seems to be the gist of his message.
“As we kick-start our economic activities under GCQ, we would like to make sure that people and companies remain vigilant against the dangers of Covid-19. We want to make sure that people who work and visit San Juan are safe,” Zamora emphasizes.
In line with this, the Greenhills Mall is strictly implementing the “No Face Mask, No Entry” policy.
As visitors enter the Greenhills Mall they will be told to observe social distancing while they are going under security and temperature check.
The mall has apparently left no stone unturned. Foot baths are available at mall’s entrances even as a brand-new metal detector with a built-in thermal scanner was also installed.
Visitors are also expected to sanitize their hands upon entry with conveniently placed alcohol dispensers at all entrances.
Not only that. There are also floor markings to guide people on how to implement proper physical distancing and to remind them to always observe health protocols.
Stalls, shops, and offices within the mall were required to conspicuously post the number of people allowed inside.
To augement all the precautions, Roving Health and Safety Protocol Officers are also deployed tasked to keep reminding visitors about social distancing and other protocols.
More changes have also been adopted in the mall, including the layout of the Tiangge.
Stalls were divided into clusters of four. The stalls placed plastic covering between them; plastic had also been placed on the entrance.
Only one sales person and one customer is allowed. Sales persons and the staff of the mall are required to put on a face mask and a face shield. They must wear their Health Clearance and Travel Pass at all times.
It can be recalled that local government units (LGUs) like San Juan have required returning workers to get a health clearance.
“Before they are allowed to report back to work, employees working in San Juan are required to secure a Health Clearance from our City Health Office,” Zamora stresses.
“We want to make sure that the employees, especially those in the front-lines like the sales personnel, are not infected with Covid-19 and will not be spreading the virus to other workers and shoppers,” Zamora stresses.”
The mayor said the message of the city to the people is that the GCQ should not be a reason to let their guard down, adding that Community Quarantine is still on.
“That means the health and safety of our people is our utmost priority.”
Zamora thanked the Greenhills Mall management for taking extra measures beyond the law and the city government’s guidelines. He hopes these will prevent more people from getting the virus.
“The measures they have implemented are very impressive and shows their commitment to prioritize health over profits. (SDN)