THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) said that 78 of its rank and file employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Of the number, 29 have already recovered and only one was admitted to the hospital, adding that 44 employees who also tested positive for the virus but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms are currently housed in quarantine facilities while awaiting recovery or undergoing treatment.
Dr. Marites Ambray, BI Medical Section Chief, also reported that there were 76 other employees who were earlier asked to undergo isolation and home quarantine after being identified as probable COVID-19 cases for having exposure to persons infected by the virus.
Ambray said 58 of these suspected COVID-19 carriers were already cleared and allowed to return to work while the 18 others are still under home quarantine.
Due to increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the BI, the bureau’s Administrative Division recently issued a directive on the mandatory wearing of face shields (aside from face masks) by all officials and employees when reporting for work in their respective offices.
Employees who do not wear both face mask and face shield will not be allowed to work and will be sent home, the directive states.
It was also learned that due to the daily ingress and egress of large number of people transacting business at the Bureau’s main office in Intramuros, Manila, the said building has been undergoing regular disinfection since July as a preventive measure against the virus.
The BI earlier suspended its services for walk-in clients by launching an online appointment system in order to prevent congestion in its offices, and achieve physical distancing among its employees and the transacting public.