Part of Capitol locked down, guv, others on quarantine | AFTER PIMT CHIEF, 3 OTHERS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID

The offices of the governor and provincial administrator have temporarily been locked down.*Richard Mailhan photo

Part of the Negros Occidental provincial Capitol, including the Office of the Governor, in Bacolod City was locked down starting Friday morning, March 26, after the head of the Provincial Incident Management Team (PIMT) and three of his staff tested positive for COVID-19, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said.

Also locked down are the Provincial Administrator’s Office and Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD), while the Provincial Health Office is operating on a skeletal force.

The lockdown for disinfection is expected until Monday.

Zeaphard Caelian, PIMT and PDMPD head, and three of his staff tested positive when they were swabbed for RT-PCR tests in preparation for their COVID-19 inoculation, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.

Caelian, who is asymptomatic, was surprised that he tested positive since he was not unwell.

Lacson said he was informed by Dr. Mary Ann Maestral that Caelian is actually already getting well and that he has a very low viral load that is most likely not capable of infecting others. The doctor suspects Caelian’s COVID-19 has gone beyond 10 days already, the governor said.

Caelian, who is on quarantine, said his family, household help and co-workers whom he was with everyday tested negative for the virus late Friday.

The governor, Diaz, and the employees in their offices who came in contact with Caelian have gone on home quarantine and are being monitored.

They will be swabbed for COVID-19 tests on Sunday for “peace of mind”, Lacson said.

“I apologized to all those that I mingled with, I am sure that they are anxious now”, the governor said.*

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