City employee, 4 others die, gov’t center closed for week

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BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

Five Covid-19 hit Bacolod residents, including a second City Land Tax Division employee who was set to get married in September, and a call center supervisor, have died.

Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said the 29-year-old Land Tax Division employee and the mother of the first fatality from that office died yesterday morning.

A female call center supervisor in her early 30s, a resident of Barangay Estefania, and another from Barangay Banago also died during the weekend, Familiaran added.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia ordered the temporary closure of the Bacolod City Government Center starting noon yesterday until Saturday for disinfection and preventive decontamination.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you news of the passing of yet another city government employee. He succumbed to the deadly COVID-19 today and he is the second employee to have expired due to the virus, in just under a week,” the mayor said.

He said at that present there are six employees from the Land Tax Division who have tested positive for COVID-19, with four of them asymptomatic.

Leonardia said that after conferring with Familiaran, City Administrator Em Ang, City Health Officer Dr. Ma. Carmela Gensoli, and other government officials, he has ordered the immediate and temporary closure of the BCGC until August 16, subject to further evaluation.

However, in order not to hamper emergency and social welfare services of the City, Leonardia said he has ordered the City Health Office, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and the Department of Social Services and Development to continue operating outside of the BCGC in locations that will be advised later.

The general public may reach the City Mayor’s Office at the Bacolod City Public Plaza Office where it will temporarily be located, while the City Administrator’s Office will be at the Tourism Satellite Office/Bayanihan Center along Rizal Street (near SM), he said.

“As the City is intensifying its efforts in this battle against COVID-19, we implore everyone to do their share by cooperating with our authorities and to follow the minimum health protocols set by the national and local governments. Our individual acts definitely count in this fight,” he said.

He also called on the public to join him in praying for the eternal repose of all those who have died from this dreadful disease, for the full and swift recovery of those still under treatment, and for local transmissions to stop.

“Let us also pray for our City and for our neighboring towns and cities – that we may all be guided and protected by the Almighty,” Leonardia said.

Familiaran said the 29-year-old Land Tax Division employee may have been infected when he went to the Bacolod Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs where several employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

His 48-year-old COVID-hit female co-worker died Thursday last week and her mother died yesterday, Familiaran said.*

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