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NegOcc Capitol is disinfected as guv, and 21 employees are infected with Covid-19.

After Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and at least 21 staff tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the previous week, offices of the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol in this city were closed for decontamination on Monday.

Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, who is currently acting governor, said Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in 13 departments and offices, which cover practically the whole Capitol.

“We decided to close the Provincial Capitol for disinfection, jointly with Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, to stop or minimize the spread of the sickness,” he stated in an interview.

Ferrer stated in a memorandum order that, in addition to the Governor’s Office, which has one case, the Provincial Planning and Development Office and Provincial Legal Office each have four cases, and the Provincial Treasurer’s Office and Provincial Health Office each have two cases.

Each of the remaining eight offices has one case.

He noted that the Provincial Health Office had noticed that a number of employees were exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms and advised them to be isolated immediately, given that the majority of them live in Bacolod City, which is now seeing a high number of positive cases.

According to Ferrer, the Provincial Capitol will have limited operations from January 24 to 28, and all departments and offices will keep a skeleton crew to assure the delivery of basic services.

However, he noted, provincial government-run hospitals and offices, especially those involved in disaster response and health services, will be fully operating.

Lacson’s three-day health vacation, which began on January 21 on the doctor’s advice after he began to exhibit symptoms, was extended to ten days on January 22 when his reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test yielded a positive result, according to Diaz.

Lacson had tested negative in a fast antigen test prior to his positive RT-PCR test result.

Diaz had previously stated that the governor had a sore throat as a result of his journey to the province’s southern region for official events.

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