WITH the aim of helping its frontline officers at the airports avoid getting infected by COVID-19, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has mobilized its personnel with medical backgrounds, through a directive assigning 18 immigration officers, all of whom are registered/licensed nurses, to constitute an ad hoc medical team that will spearhead the bureau’s fight against COVID-19 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The team members were directed to report to the BI medical section, headed by Dr. Marites Ambray, for instructions and told to be ready to respond to any situation requiring medical attention that may occur while they are on duty.
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the move is in compliance with the ongoing enhanced community quarantine program that the government has implemented in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
“Our immigration officers, like our health workers, are also in the frontlines of our campaign against the COVID-19. It is only proper that they be protected against this virus and extended medical attention should they need it,” the BI said in a statement.
Meanwhile, BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina disclosed that members of the medical team will be deployed and assigned to their respective shifts at the NAIA to serve the medical needs of their fellow officers manning the immigration counters of the airport.
“Fortunately, we have in our ranks several immigration officers who have worked as nurses and have extensive medical experience before they joined the bureau. We are now tapping their knowledge and expertise in the fight against COVID-19,” Medina said.
BI’s frontline officers who may have flu-like symptoms were also directed to skip work and voluntarily go on 14-day self-quarantine to protect not only themselves but also their fellow officers.
The medical team is directed not to allow any BI officers exhibiting flu-like symptoms to report for duty.