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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, August 17, 2020
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Capitol reopens today
but one employee dies
Murcia town hall closed


Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that it is now safe for the Negros Occidental provincial government employees to return to work today following the five-day lockdown of the Capitol and its adjacent offices in Bacolod City last week for decontamination.

But a 53-year-old Sangguniang Panlalawigan lobby watchman at the Capitol, who tested positive for COVID-19, died at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City from diabetes related complications last night, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz confirmed.

His wife, who works at the Provincial Tourism Office, and two of their children have also tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor, in a statement earlier yesterday, said that during the lockdown, they identified seven more co-workers who are COVID-19 positive and arrested the spread of the virus in the workplace.

This makes a total of 22 confirmed cases among provincial government employees, he said.

“We also succeeded in isolating them and giving them the proper care and treatment in our health facilities. Eight of our 22 confirmed cases have fully recovered and returned home after complying with the 14-day quarantine, and testing negative on their second swab,” he said.

The initial close contacts of about 142 employees have tested negative for the virus and are also feeling well, he said.

Offices that were compromised by visits of confirmed cases have been decontaminated while employees stayed at home and monitored their own and their co-employees’ health conditions, Lacson said.

“The provincial Capitol and its employees are safe,” he assured.

“Let us resume full operations observing the health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields. The people of Negros need us to assume our posts and deliver much needed basic services once again. Let us take heart and take the lead,” the governor said in his message to the Capitol employees.

Meanwhile, Murcia Mayor Gerardo Rojas said the Murcia Municipal Hall will be closed for disinfection this week after an employee residing in Bacolod City tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee is asymptomatic and is in a quarantine facility, he said.

All offices delivering essential services will remain operational, Rojas added.*


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