More gov’t, court offices under lockdown over COVID positives

THE national office of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Agham Road, Quezon City and more court branches in Manila were placed under lockdown yesterday after some of their employees reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials and personnel of the fire bureau along with those in other government agencies like the Philippine National Police were required to undergo direct swab testing at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The lockdown at the BFP main offices was ordered after 13 of its personnel were reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 sickness.

“On-going pa rin ang swab testing sa Philippine Arena at so far nasa 13 na sa ating personnel ang nag-positive sa COVID-19,” the ranking official told this writer in phone.

The lockdown was ordered last Friday to give way for the conduct of health protocols such as the immediate contact-tracing on the concerned personnel or employees.

He said only 10 percent of the bureau’s workforce – or those handling critical positions like the heads of offices and directorates – are required to report for duty to work on important documents and communications needed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other government offices.

On July 6, the DILG-NAPOLCOM Center located at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue in QC, was also placed under a week-long lockdown after Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III admitted he was tested positive of corona virus 2019.

In Manila, more court branches have been placed under two-week lockdown after employees separately tested positive for COVID-19 during reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab testing.

The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 31 was placed under lockdown from July 13 to July 26, 2020 after an employee tested positive for coronavirus.

Manila RTC Executive Judge Virgilio Macaraig said court hearings may be conducted through video conference, and pleadings, motions, orders, judgment, and notices may be filed electronically during the quarantine period.

The Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 30 and the MeTC Manila Office of the Clerk of Court (OCC) were also placed under lockdown after two employees separately tested positive for COVID-19.

Manila MeTC Executive Judge Carissa Anne Manook-Frondozo said the lockdown is until July 24.

Frondozo said they were able to verify information that one employee of Manila MeTC-OCC and an employee of Branch 30 tested positive for COVID-19 after undergoing swab testing in two separate medical facilities.

With Hector Lawas