BI-NAIA personnel COVID-19 negative

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) employees reported that its almost 1,000 personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been found to be free of the coronavirus.

The BI had earlier issued a directive making the COVID tests mandatory for all of the bureau's more than 3,000 officials and employees nationwide.

BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said a total of 998 BI personnel at the NAIA have already tested negative for COVID-19 based on the results of four mass rapid anti-body tests conducted on them at the airport's Terminal 3 building since last month.

He said that 12 employees who failed in the said rapid tests were later found to be free of the virus after undergoing confirmatory swab tests.

"At present, only 28 of the 1,026 BI personnel deployed at the airport have yet to undergo the test for the virus," Medina said, adding that the 28 employees were already advised to immediately submit themselves to COVID test in any accredited government or private medical facility or they will not be allowed to report back to work.

Medina assured that BI frontliners at the premiere port are continuously being reminded to always be extra careful and observe health protocols so they won't be infected by the virus.

"We remain cognizant of the fact that until we defeat this virus our frontliners are continually exposed to the risk of getting infected everytime they perform their duties," he said.

It was learned that about two-thirds of the 1,026 BI employees at NAIA are immigration officers performing frontline duties as primary and secondary inspectors of international passengers arriving and departing daily at the premiere port.

Medina said that after NAIA, it will now be the turn of BI personnel deployed in other international airports, such as Clark and Mactan, to be tested for COVID-19.