The Bacolod Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical data and analysis and 15 other Bacolod City government employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Chris Sorongon, EOC deputy, said he has been diagnosed with moderate COVID-19 and is confined at the Riverside Medical Center.
The 15 city government employees who tested positive are from the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) which has eight, office of Councilor Cindy Rojas – five, EOC secretariat – one, and City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) – one, City Administrator Em Ang said Thursday, April 1.
Ang, who tested negative for the virus, said massive testing of city government employees who came in contact with those who are COVID-positive is underway.
There are 160 employees of the EOC, CEO and the Bids and Awards Committee who have been tested for the virus, she said.
She said there will be no need to lockdown the Bacolod City Government Center on Monday since they already conducted decontamination and disinfection on Wednesday, which has been followed by the long Holy Week holiday.
Surveillance testing will also be conducted at the Bacolod City Government Center on Monday, she said.
All employees of Rojas’ office, the CEO and CTO will be tested, she also said.
Those not tested for COVID-19 from those offices cannot go back to work yet, Ang said.
Sorongon, who had received his first Sinovac dose, said he was not feeling well and was suffering from body pains on Saturday, so he stayed home.
On Wednesday evening, he decided to be admitted at the RMCI and his positive test result came out Thursday, April 1, he said.
“I am being treated as COVID moderate,” he said, and was given Remdesivir and may be started on convalescent plasma.
Sorongon said he faces a lot of people every day because of the vaccination education program, and he conducts onsite inspections of reports of minimum health protocol violations.
He does not know where he got the virus but the message is COVID spares no one, Sorongon said.
“We have to be very careful especially since we are considering the presence of a new variant, the P3 variant, that could be in Bacolod,” he said.
The best thing to do is to have our specimens genome sequenced for support, he said.
“The latest cases in Bacolod fit into the characteristics of the P3 variant, which is common to those who live in condominiums and subdivisions, it hits one member of the family and chances are the entire family will get it, and children are susceptible,” he said.
In the past seldom would you hear of children being hit by the virus, now in a family of 11 who tested positive for COVID , four were children, he said.
A nursing assistant hit by the virus also infected two of her children, Sorongon said.
The P3 variant is common in Central Visayas, and is only known in the Philippines but has its lineage in the Brazilian P1 variant, he said.*