BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The number of employees of the provincial government of Negros Occidental who tested positive for Covid-19 rose to 43 on Sunday, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday.
Added to the list were two executive assistants of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, a department head, and two job order personnel assigned at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City, Diaz said.
Three other members of the family of Lacson’s EA were also infected with the virus. They are now with other Capitol employees in isolation at the Mambukal Mountain Resort facility in Murcia, he added.
The good news is, Diaz said, that seven other Capitol employees have recovered from the infection, bringing down to 36 the number of provincial government employees still recovering.
The Covid-19 mass vaccination is slated to start May 20, with the Capitol frontliners to be prioritized, “in order to boost our resistance, and in order not to derail the delivery of public services,” Diaz said.
The Office of the Governor was also disinfected Sunday.
Diaz said that Lacson had a limited exposure to the executive assistants who tested positive, since most of the time, the activities he had attended were held outdoors.
He, however, said that they are not considering a lockdown of the Capitol, stressing that it would mean a stoppage of many services.
Those who are not cleared will not be allowed to enter the Capitol premises, Diaz added.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental employs more than 3,000 workers, with most of the medical frontliners already vaccinated with the second dose.
An advisory issued said that those 55 and above will be inoculated with AstraZeneca vaccines, and Sinovac for 54 years old and below, Diaz said.*