Image: koto_feja/IStock.com via AFP
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) would be temporarily closed until Monday after some of its staff contracted COVID-19.
In a message to reporters, OCD spokesperson Mark Cashean Timbal said that as of 7 p.m. Thursday, a total of 116 OCD personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, or 30 percent of the 380 total personnel based at OCD Central Office.
Of those who tested positive, 80 percent were asymptomatic.
Timbal said those who tested positive were already transferred to a quarantine facility.
He, however, could not confirm the test result of OCD administrator Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.
“This is the first time that we had this large number of positives. The last time we had our [skeleton] team tested, only six turned out positive, and they were all asymptomatic,” he said.
According to Timbal, the OCD regularly conducts rapid-antigen testing as part of their procedure to ensure that their 30 percent skeleton workforce would be protected during rotation duties.
During an initial rapid antigen test on Tuesday, two employees tested positive prompting the OCD to conduct a confirmatory RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test on all 114 workers.
Other off-duty personnel also requested to be tested bringing the total count of tested personnel to 218.
Timbal said that of those already tested, only 17 of the personnel tested negative. The RT-PCR results of 85 other employees have yet to be issued.
As such, the OCD Central Office in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, will be closed until August 30 to undergo disinfection.
OCD services will continue via online channels with our workforce doing work-from-home.
The 24/7 operations center of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), meanwhile, will remain open and continue to provide regular disaster monitoring and coordination services.
OCD, an agency under the Department of National Defense, is the implementing arm of the NDRRMC.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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