Surabaya (ANTARA) - The Surabaya City's Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling has called on the public not to shun families of PT HM Sampoerna's employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been isolated at a hotel and hospitals.

At least 37 employees of the cigarette maker were infected with COVID-19 based on the swab test, Deputy Secretary of the task force Eddy Christijanto said here on Sunday.

Some of the employees were isolated in a hotel and some other were under medical treatment in two referral hospitals in Surabaya.

"We have told leaders in the community to prevent these families from being shunned. Because what happened now, if one individual confirmed positive for COVID-19, the whole family will be shunned," he added.

The task force has deployed its team in 14 villages to monitor the health condition of the employees and their families.

The city administration has also called on the company to give support to families of their employees who imposed self-isolation at their homes.

"That's what we can do so far. Once we got the information from the tracing team, we immediately took anticipatory measures. We close (the plant) and impose 14-day isolation," he said.

Previously, two employees of the company who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, died after they were treated at a hospital.

Following the death of the two employees, the task force conducted rapid test on its 500 employees, 98 of whom were showing positive for COVID-19 test.

Director of PT HM Sampoerna Tbk Elvira Lianita said the company has decided to pause operations at the Rungkut 2 factory since 27 April 2020 until further notice for deep cleaning and sanitization.

"We believe this is an appropriate step to take considering some of our employees have been infected with COVID-19," she said.

Furthermore, according to the direction and coordination with the Surabaya City Government, the company has also implemented recommended protocols such as conducting contact tracing, requesting employees for self-quarantine, conducting COVID-19 tests, and collaborating with local hospitals.

It would maintain the products at least five days from manufacture until it reaches the consumer, she said.

The company would enable paid time-off for affected employees, employees who need to undertake self-quarantine; and employees who need to care for members of their household who have contracted the virus

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Translator: Abdul Hakim, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
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