CITING increasing incidences of COVID-19 among the city’s business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, Baguio City has ordered the aforementioned companies to get rid of their designated smoking areas.
Dr. Donnabel T. Panes, head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the City Health Services Office, said that the smoking areas were a contributor to the spikes in COVID-19 cases as smokers would not be observing health protocols, leading to the spread of COVID-19 in the BPOs.
At the same time, Panes said that the negative effects of smoking on health have also contributed to the spread of COVID-19, as smoking would have weakened the immune system and lungs of smokers and those around them, making them more susceptible to the disease.
According to Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force, fewer establishments were found in violation of the city’s smoke-free ordinance this year.
However, more individual violators have been apprehended than in the previous years.
Ordinance No. 34, series of 2017 or the city’s smoke free ordinance outlines the prohibited acts of individuals and establishments on the sale and use of cigarettes and similar electronic devices for the health and safety of the general public.