RTVM under lockdown until August 11 after some employees contract COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Broadcast Staff–Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) Manila Office will be on lockdown starting Tuesday, July 28 until August 11 after some of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement, RTVM executive director Demic Pabalan said two employees tested positive via reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction while four employees tested positive via rapid antibody test.
Pabalan said only the personnel assigned in presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s press briefing were allowed to report for work in consideration of a memorandum requesting RTVM to continue providing assistance despite the lockdown.
“In the said memorandum, the OPS [Office of Presidential Spokesperson] assured PBS-RTVM that rapid testing will be given to concerned personnel,” Pabalan said.
Pabalan said 15 personnel reported to work and waited for rapid testing supposedly to be provided by the OPS.
“When there was none, PCOO [Presidential Communications Operations Office] made coordination with the Presidential Security Group (PSG) for the rapid testing of all 15 personnel,” said Pabalan.
“Given the time consumed in coordinating with the PSG and administering of rapid tests plus awaiting the results, the PBS-RTVM personnel got delayed in going back to the NEB [new executive building] for the press briefing,” he went on.
There was supposed to be a post-State of the Nation Address forum Monday where several Cabinet Secretaries will take part. But due to the circumstances, only Roque’s regular online briefing proceeded.
Meanwhile, there are 22 active cases of COVID-19 in PCOO’s main office.
There are also active cases in its attached offices — two each at the Apo Production Unit and the Philippine Information Agency. PTV, on the other hand, has one active case and one recovery.
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