BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Four offices at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City were placed on temporary lockdown for disinfection after Provincial Incident Management Team head Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian and three of his personnel tested positive for Covid-19, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson confirmed yesterday.
Lacson and Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz also went on self-quarantine after they were exposed to Caelian during a March 22 meeting.
Caelian and his staff are now being quarantined at the Mambukal Summer Resort in Murcia, while Lacson, Diaz and 40 other Capitol employees are scheduled to undergo swab testing tomorrow.
Lacson apologized to the people he had mingled with in the cities of Himamaylan and Sipalay on Wednesday and Thursday, for causing them anxiety, after his exposure to Caelian, who is asymptomatic, like him, as of this time.
He also advised Capitol employees assigned in offices affected by the lockdown to stay at home, and observe themselves in the next few days.
Lacson and Caelian said that they are feeling good and okay.
“Before, we were able to contain the movement of Covid-19 infected persons, but now, we never know if we are facing people, infected by the virus, or not,” Caelian, whose office has been responsible for the screening and transport of returning Negros Occidental residents since the start of the pandemic last year, said.
Despite what happened to him and his staff, Caelian said “We will do our best to control and contain the spread of Covid-19”.
On the other hand, Diaz said that the provincial government will temporarily halt the processing of the S-Pass for travelers wanting to return to Negros Occidental, after Caelian and three members of his staff were infected by the virus.
He also reported that a pediatrician at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City has also tested positive for COVID-19. This prompted TLJPH to place on temporary lockdown its pediatric ward and neonatal intensive care unit for disinfection.
Diaz said that the Pediatric Department will cater only to severe emergencies, while the Obstetrics Department will accommodate only eminent deliveries. He added that the Provincial Health Office is operating with a skeletal force, after its personnel were sent home yesterday.
The Cadiz City Hall 2 is also on temporary lockdown, after its three employees and two police officers also tested positive for Covid-19.
On the other hand, Mayor Pedro Zayco tested negative for Covid-19, despite his exposure to a Covid-19 positive patient assigned at the Kabankalan City Health Office.*