BACOLOD

Negros Occidental budget officer infected with coronavirus

THE officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Provincial Budget Management Office of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental tested positive for coronavirus, Provincial Administrator Lawyer Rayfrando Diaz said Monday, November 16, 2020.

Diaz said the OIC department head voluntarily submitted herself to swabbing on Friday after having a fever on Wednesday and results yielded that she is positive for the novel coronavirus.

"Immediately, we conducted contact tracing, swab and tested her family members and co-employees," he said.

Her brother-in-law, who stays in their house, also tested positive.

Diaz said the employees at the Provincial Budget Office were all negative.

"The transmission occurred at their house, which is in Bacolod City," Diaz said.

He said one of the possible reasons for the infection was that last weekend, her family celebrated the one-year death anniversary of a family member.

"They got five old ladies to pray for them," Diaz said.

The Provincial Health Office is now looking for the five prayer ladies who may be transferring from one wake to another and possibly spread the virus, Diaz said.

"We are discouraging the public from unnecessarily invite outsiders into their houses. Think twice before you invite them at home for whatever reasons, especially during wakes. It happened in Kabankalan City, which caused an outbreak," Diaz said.

The budget office, as well as the session hall of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan had been decontaminated on Saturday, he said.

Diaz said the OIC budget officer appeared during budget hearings last week but had been observing social distance and was wearing a face mask.

Some of the department heads who sat with her tested negative after results came on Sunday. More test results are expected to be released on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.


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