BIR, SEC offices close: Covid-hit frontliner’s visit cited

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BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

The Bureau of Internal Revenue offices in Bacolod and Victorias cities were closed yesterday because a frontliner, who tested positive for COVID-19, had gone there Wednesday, BIR Regional Director Antonio Jonathan Jaminola said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission-Bacolod Extension Office that is adjacent to the Bacolod BIR office was also closed.

The BIR Regional Office 12 and Revenue District Office No. 77 in Bacolod and Revenue District Office No. 76 in Victorias City were closed for disinfection and will reopen on Monday, Jaminola said.

The 45-year-old frontliner, who is a utility worker at the EB Magalona Healing Center, had gone to the BIR office in Bacolod Wednesday morning and to its Victorias office in the afternoon, Jaminola said.

The frontliner learned that he was COVID-19 positive late Wednesday.

Jaminola said even if the BIR has plastic sheets that separate its employees from its clients, its personnel who came in contact with the frontliner will be made to undergo 14-day quarantines.

The SEC-Bacolod Extension Office also announced that it would close yesterday and today for disinfection purposes.

This is a necessary precaution after a COVID-19 positive person was reported to have gone to the BIR, which is a neighboring office to SEC, it said in a press statement.

“Although it is not yet confirmed that there were other clients from the BIR who later went to SEC to submit reports stamped received by the BIR, who came in contact with that COVID positive person,” it added.

Meanwhile, 17 frontliners at the EB Magalona Healing Center who were close contacts to the 45-year-old have tested negative for COVID-19, Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday.

IN SAGAY CITY

Sagay Mayor Alfredo Marañon III confirmed yesterday that COVID-19 positive Patient No. 14 of his city is a 7-year-old son of a frontliner, who is asymptomatic. The child has travel history in Bacolod City, he said.

The Sagay City COVID-19 Task Force is conducting a thorough investigation and is tracing all those in close contacts with the child, he said.

Close contacts of the child were immediately isolated and placed under strict home quarantine. The child’s residence has been locked down for 14 days, the mayor added.

“The close contacts are scheduled for RT-PCR swab tests. We have also conducted a thorough disinfection of places visited by the confirmed positive case and close contacts,” he said.

“To the frontliner mother who sacrificed and has given so much to this endless battle against the COVID-19 virus, you are not alone. We assure you that we are behind you and your son until his recovery,” Marañon said.

The mayor appealed to all Sagaynons to “please avoid discrimination and lift the frontliner and son, all our positive cases and PUMs, in prayer. Nobody wants this to happen. The most important thing is we immediately contain and isolate the situation and prevent the spread of the virus.”

He reiterated his call for everyone to strictly follow minimum health protocols.

IN MANAPLA

In Manapla, the five members of the family of a locally stranded individual (LSI) who tested positive for COVID-19, had been transferred to the EB Magalona Healing Center, Mayor Manuel Escalante said.

The LSI, who was quarantined at the Mambukal Resort infected members of his family on his return home to Manapla.

He had tested negative for the virus on his return from Iloilo but was reswabbed for RT-PCR testing when it was learned that one of his companions in the room he stayed at in Mambukal was positive for the virus, Escalante said.*

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