BI seeks protective equipment for frontline personnel

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) is appealing for support and assistance in securing personal protective equipment (PPEs) amidst the COVID-2019 outbreak for their frontline personnel.

The BI said there is currently a lack of PPEs for frontline personnel, especially those assigned at the airports and seaports, adding that sourcing masks, alcohol and other PPEs is hard these days so that the bureau now relies on donations from other government agencies and concerned entities since February.

BI’s Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina described the situation at the frontlines during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, thus: ‘Officers feel threatened by this virus, there is always a fear of being exposed to it.

“Our men have resorted to using makeshift or reusable facemasks to protect themselves,” added Medina, who stressed that immigration officers are the first to interact with arriving passengers that might be carriers of the virus.

The BI, he said, also observes Standard Operating Procedures in checking the health of their personnel.

Part of the SOP is to ensure that the health of BI officers are checked for COVID-2019 if they encountered a COVID-positive patient. A medical team is on standby to conduct triage and ensure that those who need testing are able to do so, he stated.