2 lay workers, 7 inmates, 4 DA 7 personnel ‘positive’

·3 min read

TWO lay personnel working for Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), a church official said Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.

Their condition was discovered five days after Palma was hospitalized for the disease.

According to Msgr. Joseph Tan, the archdiocese’s spokesman, the two are asymptomatic and have been isolated. However, they are not with the rest of Palma’s staff, who are quarantined at the Archbishop’s Palace on D. Jakosalem St. in Cebu City.

Tan said Palma’s official residence will be disinfected once the staff complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

Tan said Palma and retired Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Antonio Rañola remain confined at the Perpetual Succour Hospital but their condition is stable.

“The archbishop is still experiencing some fatigue every now and then but his coughing has stopped, while Bishop Rañola is still experiencing coughing but is no longer experiencing fatigue,” Tan told SunStar Cebu.

Tan said they are closely monitoring the condition of the two bishops.

In Cebu City, Maj. Jose Angelo Acupinpin, chief of the Pardo Police Station, said seven men detained for illegal drug charges tested positive for Covid-19.

Acupinpin said the seven men will remain in their cell until the station receives their commitment order so they can be turned over to the Cebu City Jail, which is under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

On Monday, one prisoner who shared the cell with the seven men was taken to the Cebu City Medical Center for swab testing because he was not feeling well, he said.

The police chief said the station still prohibits visitors.

Relatives of inmates bringing food and other personal effects must turn these over to station personnel.

In Mandaue City, the office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Barangay Maguikay was placed on lockdown, effective Monday to March 8, after four employees tested positive for Covid-19.

Their test results came out on Friday afternoon, Feb. 19.

“This office will undergo a decontamination/disinfection and ‘lockdown’ as a health and safety procedure to contain/minimize the spread of the virus,” DA 7 Director Salvador Diputado said in an advisory.

Diputado directed their supervisors to submit the names and contact numbers of personnel the four employees had been in contact with so they, too, could be tested.

Drivers and the medical team of the DA 7 office were also directed to get tested.

The four employees quarantined in the building inside the DA 7 complex were swabbed again on Monday and were asked to remain there unless the health protocol officer gives them the go-ahead to return home.

“The rest of the employees are advised to work from home during this period to minimize exposure. Division/section/unit chiefs are instructed to provide a skeleton force during the decontamination period from March 1 to 5 to serve as guide to the team,” Diputado said.

For urgent transactions, the office can be reached through redsoffice7@yahoo.com or operation center hotlines 0917-545 -4534, 0923-497-0821 and 0956- 902-2494.

Secondary numbers can be reached by calling 0933-822-8263 (Cebu), 0917-500-0176 (Bohol), 0917-504-7610 (Negros Oriental) and 0916-767-1185 (Siquijor). (JKV / JOB / BBT / PJB)