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78 BI staff infected by virus

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said 78 of its rank and file employees have been infected by COVID-19.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that 29 have recovered and only one was admitted to the hospital.

He added that 44 employees who also tested positive for the virus but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms are currently housed in quarantine facilities undergoing treatment.

“We are still fortunate that none of our workers have succumbed to this virus,” Morente said.

BI medical chief Marites Ambray reported that there were 76 other employees who were earlier asked to undergo isolation and home quarantine after being identified as probable COVID-19 cases for having exposure to persons infected by the illness.

Ambray said 58 of these suspected virus carriers have been cleared and allowed to return to work while the 18 others are still under home quarantine.

Due to increasing number of COVID cases, the bureau’s administrative division recently issued a directive on the mandatory wearing of face shields, aside from face masks, by all officials and employees when reporting for work.

It was also learned that due to the large number of people transacting business daily at the agency’s main office in Intramuros, Manila, the building has been undergoing regular disinfection since July to prevent the spread of the disease.

The BI had earlier suspended its services for walk-in clients by launching an online appointment system in order to prevent congestion in its offices, and achieve physical distancing among its employees and the transacting public.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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