PHYSICAL work at the New Executive Building in Malacañang will remain suspended as Presidential Communications Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar confirmed that 10 of their employees tested positive for the new coronavirus.

In a statement released Saturday morning, July 25, Andanar said that while he tested negative for the virus, there are 10 PCOO personnel who have contracted the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

"I would like to inform the public that I tested negative for Covid-19 after I underwent a test on Thursday, July 23," he said.

"However, I regret to confirm that as of 6 a.m. today, 10 of our personnel in the main office tested positive. We are relaying hopes and prayers for their speedy recovery from the virus," he added.

Andanar assured that contact tracing and testing are being done in the building.

"We would like to assure the family of those who have been infected by Covid-19, as well as the general public, that the PCOO is doing all the health and medical protocols prescribed by the government, especially the intensified contact tracing and testing, as part of our due diligence to prevent further transmissions among those who have been in contact with them," the official said.

Andanar also assured that "assistance and support" will be given to the infected personnel and their families.

Physical work inside the New Executive Building that was first suspended on Tuesday, July 21, is still suspended to give way for disinfection and contact tracing.

"Rest assured that the delivery of essential and timely information to the Filipino public will remain unhampered and unchanged, as we have adopted a work-from-home arrangement. All programs and briefings done at the New Executive Building will be undertaken remotely or virtually," Andanar said.

He added that the Radio Television-Malacañang (RTVM) will continue with their State of the Nation Address (Sona) coverage on Monday, July 27.

"With regard to the 5th Sona of President Rodrigo Duterte, our coverage will proceed as planned," Andanar said.

"Precautionary measures, such as testing, will be will be conducted for the Sona assigned team in order to ensure the safety of President Duterte and the rest of the audience at the Batasang Pambansa," he added. (SunStar Philippines)