MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration on Thursday said a total of 78 of its employees have contracted COVID-19.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that only one was admitted in hospital and 29 have already recovered.
Some 44 of those infected are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and “are currently housed in quarantine facilities while awaiting recovery or undergoing treatment.”
There were also 76 other employees who underwent isolation after being exposed to those who tested positive.
Dr. Marites Ambray, BI Medical Section Chief, said 58 of them were cleared and allowed to return to work and 18 are still in isolation at home.
The BI assured the public that all of its officials and employees are now required to wear face shields on top of face masks when reporting for work.
Employees who do not wear both face masks and face shields will not be allowed to work and will be sent home, the BI said.
It added that the agency's building in Intramuros have been undergoing regular disinfection since July because of the large number of people who visit for transactions.
The bureau had to close its main office for disinfection that month and in June after several employees contracted the virus.
Walk-in clients are also no longer accommodated. Instead, an online appointment system has been put in place to prevent congestion in their offices.