Fifteen members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) have tested positive for COVID-19, PSG commander Col. Randolph Cabangbang said Thursday.
Cabangbang said they found out they were infected after undergoing mandatory seven-day quarantine and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests upon returning from their holiday break.
“All personnel were fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic. This command, through PSG Task Force COVID-19 is attending to the personnel in accordance with IATF/DOH protocols,” he said, referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health.
In other developments:
• The Philippine National Police (PNP) Health Service said Thursday’s infections are nearly triple from Wednesday’s 100 new cases. This brought the active case count to 552, more than double from Wednesday’s 262. Three new recoveries, meanwhile, raised the total count to 41,968 out of a total of 42,645 confirmed cases. The death toll remains at 125. PNP records also show that 215,375 personnel (95.57 percent) are already fully vaccinated, while 8,456 (3.75 percent) are waiting for their second dose. Among those who contracted Covid-19 is PNP chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos.
• The Department of Justice is eyeing the reduction of employees working at its main office along Padre Faura Street in Manila to at least 30 percent in view of the rise in COVID-19 cases. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara said he can only order the reduction of the DOJ’s workforce at its main office upon approval by Malacanang. In the meantime, the DOJ premises will be disinfected this coming weekend, he said.
• The Supreme Court has ordered trial courts in Laguna to limit to 30 percent its personnel working onsite or a maximum of 50 % starting today, Jan. 7 until Jan. 15. Earlier, the SC also required courts in Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal provinces that the courts’ skeleton force will have to report physically from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Work in all trial courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) has been suspended until Friday, Jan. 7 due to the increasing number of court officials and personnel who are infected with COVID-19.
• The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said its service to the public will not be affected even though 82 of its workers are in isolation and being tested for COVID-19. The MMDA is now conducting contact tracing and swab tests on those who had close encounters with the affected personnel, and will be instructed to strictly comply with the quarantine period.
• The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Thursday, closed all its National Capital Region (NCR)-West branches until further notice. In a Facebook post, the LTO-NCR said the closure of all of the agency’s NCR-West branches was due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and to give way for a thorough disinfection of all its offices.