MANILA - The head of the Bureau of Corrections has tested positive for COVID-19, he confirmed Monday.
BuCor chief Gerald Bantag said his swab test result from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine showed that he was positive for novel coronavirus infection as of Sunday. SARS-CoV2
Bantag's driver and close-in security from the police Special Action Force have also been infected with the coronavirus.
“Apat na kaming positive,” Bantag confirmed Monday morning.
“Tatlo tinrangkaso, tapos 1 driver ko unang nagpositive, tapos 1 security ko, tapos si (Asec) Gabby, tapos ako na," he added, referring to BuCor spokesperson Asec Gabby Chaclag who also tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
The BuCor chief said he started experiencing symptoms last Friday, September 18, a day after he submitted himself for swab test.
“Nagkalagnat ako, ubo, sakit ng ulo, mainit katawan, giniginaw ako,” he said.
All 8 of Bantag’s close-in security, 4 drivers and 1 more staff who were directly in contact with him and Chaclag also underwent tests last September 17, Thursday.
Prior to his symptoms and infection, none of his aides reported having COVID-19 symptoms the past weeks.
“Mga close-in ko na drivers at security ko nagka trangkaso pala sila. Hindi nila dineclare sa akin o sa health (service) namin,” he said.
“Tinrangkaso sila at salitan one after the other, na akala nila ordinary headaches lang,” he added.
All BuCor personnel who may be experiencing any symptoms should report immediately to the bureau’s health service, Bantag said.
The BuCor chief said he will be working remotely from his quarters while completing his 14-day quarantine.
“Vitamin C at Paracetamol lang ininom ko. Wala na ako symptoms after ng 2 nights, chills biglang nawala na,” he said.
"Makapag-work pa rin ako habang quarantine, through call and text ako magbibigay ng instructions sa mga tauhan ko. Advise ko sa public, magtake sila ng Vitamin C,” he said.