MORE than 100 staff members at the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, prompting a temporary closure of its central office in Camp Aguinaldo.
Mark Timbal, OCD public affairs officer-in-charge and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson said that that 116 were found positive of the disease through reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, said.
That number is roughly 30.5 percent of the OCD central office’s total workforce of 380.
Eighty percent of those who tested positive are asymptomatic, Timbal said, adding that all were immediately transferred to a quarantine facility upon confirmation.
“This is the first time that we had this large number of positives. Last time na nagpa RT-PCR kami for the central office skeletal team, only six persons tested positive and were all asymptomatic,” he said.
According to Timbal, an initial rapid antigen test showed that two employees had contracted COVID-19.
That prompted the OCD to conduct confirmatory RT-PCR tests for its skeletal workforce of 114 people last Tuesday.
Other off-duty personnel, numbering 104, also asked to be tested, bringing the total count of tested personnel to 218.
Of the 218, only 17 have tested negative as of 7 p.m. Thursday. Eighty-five people, including Timbal, were still waiting for their results to be released.
Timbal said he has yet to be informed of the test result of OCD administrator and NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.
The OCD central office will be temporarily closed for disinfection until August 30, he said.
Services at the central office, however, will continue with personnel doing work from home.
The NDRRMC operations center, on the other hand, will continue to provide regular monitoring and coordination services, Timbal said.
The OCD, a bureau under the Department of National Defense, serves as the operating arm of the NDRRMC, leading the monitoring of natural and man-made disasters and coordinating actions of government agencies that are to respond to these.