For residents of San Pedro, Laguna, Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC) is more than a milk brand pursuing to provide affordable nutrition to every glass and plate of Filipino families.
Its iconic manufacturing plant in the city not only produces a wide range of delicious, high-quality and affordable dairy and dairy-based products, it also symbolizes stable employment to San Pedronians and those in the surrounding communities.
Like a child to its parent, AMC also takes into heart the welfare of its hometown—donating houses to a whole village in one barangay, Gawad Kalinga Alaska Village and frontlining to aid the city during disasters and crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, AMC turned over an ARCHITECT i1000 SR Immunoassay Analyzer to the city government of San Pedro in support of its battle against COVID-19. The testing machine will support the city’s residents and AMC’s employees through free testing.
The ARCHITECT i1000 SR Immunoassay Analyzer helps to detect IgG antibody, which determines if one has been infected by COVID-19 in the past and helps to quantify the number of cases, including those who were asymptomatic and have recovered.
Unlike the typical rapid antibody test kits, the donated machine conducts automated testing, including methods called Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Chemiluminescence Immunoassay (CLIA). The latter can look for multiple types of antibodies, including IgG, IgM and IgA.
ECLIA is a serology test that boasts 100% specificity (percentage of patients who test negative out of all patients who do not have the disease) and sensitivity (percentage of patients who test positive out of all patients who have the disease).
The antibody test will provide very important information to aid in diagnosis, management and recovery from COVID-19 and help the city of San Pedro evaluate how many people in the population have been infected, which is important to planning infection control.
Aside from donating the state-of-the-art equipment to the local government unit, AMC ensures that its workforce remains free from COVID-19, which in turn gives the people peace of mind and motivates them to continue working.
To prevent transmission, the company provides shuttle vans, which are disinfected before and after transport. The footbath is replaced every two hours and hand-washing facilities and sanitizer units are readily available within the premises. New face masks are provided for all personnel and visitors entering the manufacturing site since masks made from cloth are not allowed. There are separate face shields for outside and for production use while social distancing is strictly implemented.
Dedicated cleaners were assigned to regularly disinfect the area every two hours and every 30 minutes for high-touch-point surfaces (i.e. handrails, door access etc.), and thorough surface. Space disinfection is conducted weekly using misting equipment.
To reduce contact, modified work structures and schedules, and alternative work arrangements are implemented. Canteens are decentralized to each plant and AMC Management imposed a scheduled break time to its employees. Face-to-face meetings are also not allowed.
To minimize spread of infection, health declaration and temperature monitoring are strictly followed upon entry. There is a designated isolation room should the employee exhibit any symptoms. Coordination with Community Health Officer (CHO) and Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) together with a proactive contact tracing is done when an employee is tagged as a suspect. The company clinic monitors the condition of the employee daily. In the event the company physician requires an employee to undergo swab test, AMC has arranged that Medicard will shoulder the cost of the procedure.
AMC understands that protecting its employees should not stop within the walls of the workplace. By going beyond and aiding a bigger community, it hopes to help slow the transmission and keep the virus under control.
News (c) Philippine Star