By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Food Terminal, more popularly known as “Pala-pala,” was placed on lockdown on Monday after one of the personnel tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.
Provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, said the involved personnel was a job order worker of the provincial government.
Based on records released by the provincial government, the male patient aged between 37 and 38 years old did not show any symptoms of the disease, except that he suddenly collapsed while in his residence last Sunday.
He was subsequently rushed to a hospital in Bacolod City where he eventually passed away last Monday.
The provincial official said they have already launched contact tracing for the individuals who may have had contact with the patient, while they also conducted decontamination of the premises.
As of yesterday, a total of 20 employees, including security guards underwent real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.
The guards, meanwhile, have not been allowed to return home pending the release of the test results. The provincial government is currently taking care of their needs.
The job order was the second provincial employee to die of COVID-19 following the regular employee assigned at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, who died last August.
Based on records from the Provincial Health Office (PHO), the province currently has a total of 5,373 confirmed cases, 663 of which are still active.
Negros Occidental also recorded 4,548 COVID-19 recoveries and 162 fatalities./DGB, WDJ