PH Immigration bureau closes main office after employee contracts COVID-19

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said it has suspended the operations of its main office for disinfection and sanitation after one of its employees tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to BI acting spokesperson Melvin Mabulac, the employee was among its personnel who underwent rapid antibody test conducted at the main office last week.

“He initially tested positive in the rapid test conducted last June 2 so he was subjected to a confirmatory swab test. The test result showing he has the virus came out last Saturday,” Mabulac said in a statement.

He added that the employee’s officemates were already directed to undergo mandatory tests to determine if they, too, have acquired the virus.

“We assure the public that our main office will be back in business as soon as we have finished disinfecting our building. Please wait for further announcements,” Immigration commissioner Jaime Morente said in the same statement.

Morente also advised those who have secured slots via the bureau’s newly-launched online appointment system to defer their transaction as they will be notified later about the new schedule of their appointments.

He also advised concerned parties to visit the BI’s website at immigration.gov.ph where important advisories and announcements are regularly posted.

Other BI satellite and extension offices in Metro Manila remain open for business this Monday, he added.

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