BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Officers and employees of the Sugar Regulatory Administration are barred from disclosing coronavirus cases in their agency to the media.
This came after the DAILY STAR reported yesterday that another SRA employee tested positive for Covid-19, which was confirmed by its administrator, Hermenegildo Serafica.
In a memorandum addressed to all SRA officers and employees yesterday, Serafica said the Office of the Administrator had been recently barraged by queries from the media pertaining to positive cases of Covid-19 involving employees and personnel of the SRA in the Visayas.
“Top management had deemed it necessary and imperative to handle discreetly and responsibly cases on Covid-19 in order to protect the privacy of those who had contracted or may contract the virus, and to shield them from possible discrimination not only within the confines of their work but also in the community where they reside,” he said.
He added that the management had been doing its very best to institute measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and paramount concern is to protect any of its employees or personnel from being infected.
He said, “Effective from the issuance of this memorandum, all officers and employees of the SRA are strictly directed not to leak to the tri-media or the press or in social media any information related to employees who had or suspected to contract the Covid-19 virus, particularly their identities”.
Should there be justifiable ground to release such information to the media, the same shall emanate only from and with the written clearance of the Office of the Administrator, the memo said.
DAILY STAR reached Serafica to ask about the issuance of the memorandum, and he replied: “it’s there in the memo why. Please read the memo.”
He stressed that SRA is doing contact tracing and those who were determined to be in close contact with the suspected case shall be duly informed.
In an earlier interview, Serafica said the SRA office in the city will continue with its operations, while the janitors will do regular disinfection of the offices. He added that their outsourced disinfection service will disinfect the whole compound on Saturday.
Last month, an SRA employee also tested positive for the virus.*