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Developer steps up fight vs COVID-19
Published By: Inquirer.net | April 4, 2020
MANILA, Philippines – As the Philippines and the rest of the world continue their unrelenting fight against the deadly COVID-19, it has become increasingly apparent that a far bigger, more concerted effort is needed to effectively “flatten the curve.”
Even the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that everyone will need to play a part to curb the spread of this new coronavirus, from the government to businesses, and yes, even the general public. Today, simple steps such as social distancing, washing your hands, and staying at home have become a necessity—at times, even a matter of life and death.
In the Philippines, a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine has been in effect for almost three weeks now amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases—halting businesses in the capital region, and forcing millions of workers to stay in their homes, save for the frontliners who continue to brave the danger of exposure. Fortunately, many seem to be playing their part well.
Even local property developers are stepping up to the plate as they recognize their crucial role in curbing the spread of COVID-19. While seemingly simple enough, such key safety measures could very well help spare Filipinos living in high rise residential condominiums, in larger estates and townships, and even in exclusive subdivisions, from this deadly disease.
For instance, SM Development Corp. (SMDC) has aligned with the government’s directives and efforts to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The primary residential arm of SM Prime Holdings Inc. has since taken a number of additional protective measures across all of its developments to help keep its residents safe.
To ensure the safety of its residents, SMDC conducts regular misting or sanitation of common areas to kill and contain the potential spread of viruses, including the new coronavirus. Routine disinfection has long been emphasized as one of the ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Mandatory hand sanitation
SMDC has likewise installed hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrances of its developments as the security personnel in each building will be requiring everyone to sanitize upon entry to the building. And this is not without basis. WHO, in fact, urges everyone to regularly and thoroughly clean their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub, or wash them with soap and water to kill viruses that may be on their hands.
SMDC is ensuring that social distancing—which mandates one to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter or 3 feet from another person—is observed in its elevators. Hence, SMDC has been limiting the number of passengers inside elevator cars. Notices have been posted and the floors have been provided with markers to guide passengers where they should stand.
According to WHO, this is necessary because when someone beside you coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus, if the person coughing has the disease.
Given the curfew imposed by the government, SMDC has started to reduce the lights and turn off the airconditioning system in its lobbies starting 8 p.m. to encourage all residents to remain inside their units during the curfew period, which ends at 5 a.m. Persons under monitoring (PUM) are meanwhile strictly advised to stay in their units and are placed under constant monitoring.
SMDC has also temporarily closed off the amenity areas, which include swimming pools, lounges, game rooms, function rooms and sports facilities, to prevent clustering among residents and to discourage them from leaving their units.
SMDC has temporarily suspended any move-ins within their buildings for the duration of the quarantine period to further ensure the safety of residents. At the same time, the security, housekeeping, and maintenance staff are now staying in their respective developments to provide uninterrupted service and to minimize the risk of infection.
Admittedly, the country and the rest of the world still have a long way to go to effectively flatten the curve of this COVID-19 pandemic. But what you do as a simple citizen can spell a huge difference in this fight. As SMDC advises residents of its developments, you will need to stay calm, stay home and be safe, to help in the Philippines’ healing.