BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Land Tax Division at the Bacolod City Government Center was placed under 14 days lockdown starting Friday after one of its employees tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said during a virtual press conference yesterday.
Leonardia said the employee tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday and all employees of the Land Tax Division, who were considered close contacts, were made to undergo swab testing. As of yesterday about 44 employees were tested, with three more to undergo swab testing today.
To avoid the possibility of infecting their families, the employees stayed at their office and were transferred to quarantine centers and other places the next day, the mayor said.
Meanwhile, payment for land taxes will be accommodated by the Licensing Division of the City Treasurer’s Office and will be handled by assistant City Treasurer Arlene Memoria, who used to head the Land Tax Division, Leonardia said.
Earlier, the Government Center was closed for disinfection while the City Hall at downtown area was locked down on July 27 due to COVID-19 infections of employees.
Leonardia said all employees of the General Services Office at City Hall tested negative of the virus. The GSO personnel assigned to the Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports (BAYS) Center also tested negative but remain confined in isolation.
Councilor Renecito Novero, chair of the Quarantine Center Action Team, said there are about 20 to 25 barangays in Bacolod City placed under lockdown.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, chair of the city’s inter-agency task force against COVID-19 (IATF), said all three major public markets in Bacolod will be closed for disinfection every Sunday starting August 9. Other satellite markets will remain open.
Meanwhile, Familiaran said about 195 swab samples released by the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) – Bacolod Molecular Lab tested negative as of yesterday.
“This give us a source of inspiration and ray of hope that we have a fighting chance. So whether we will be able to contain this or not will depend on us,” Leonardia said.
He called on the barangay captains and the people for their cooperation because this is the only way to fight the virus, he said.*