By Jun Ramirez
Nine Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) who were earlier suspected of having COVID-19 turned out to be free of the virus after testing negative in swab tests.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente broke the good news after receiving a report from the bureau’s medical section on the results of the confirmatory swab tests conducted on the nine immigration officers.
The BI frontliners were made to undergo the confirmatory COVID-19 tests after they tested positive in the rapid antibody tests conducted last June 5.
“We are elated upon learning that, so far, none of our frontliners at the NAIA have been infected by the virus,” Morente said.
Morente also disclosed that rapid antibody tests conducted last month for 43 BI frontliners at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga also yielded negative results.
The BI chief reiterated his earlier directive to all immigration employees nationwide to undergo mandatory rapid antibody test or they will not be allowed to report back to work.
BI port operations chief Grifton Medina told BI-NAIA personnel that they should not be complacent as the battle against the virus is far from over.
He added that for nearly three months, the different sections and units under POD have been operating under various alternative work schemes that limit the number of on-duty personnel so long as their office outputs and services are not compromised.
Medina said that in compliance with Morente’s directive, he already instructed personnel in other international ports to coordinate with local government units (LGUs) and arrange the conduct of free rapid COVID-19 tests for their personnel.