Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), has been infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it was confirmed Friday, Aug. 27.
OCD spokesperson Mark Timbal told reporters that Jalad is among the 116 OCD and NDRRMC personnel who were tested from Tuesday to Thursday and found to be positive for SARS-COV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.
“He has mild symptoms and is currently in isolation. He is fully vaccinated and [he] informed me that he’s alright,” Timbal said.
As OCD administrator, Jalad leads the implementation of the country’s comprehensive national civil defense and disaster risk reduction and management program.
The OCD is the implementing arm of the NDRRMC, a multi-sectoral organization which is “responsible for ensuring the protection and welfare of the people during disasters or emergencies” including the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Timbal tested negative for COVID-19.
“I got my test results and thank God, I tested negative,” he shared.
The OCD Central Office at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City was temporarily shut down for disinfection Thursday after 116 out of 380 of its employees tested positive for COVID-19 based on their RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests. The shutdown will last until Aug. 30.
The outbreak of COVID-19 cases in OCD Central Office began when two personnel working as part of their skeletal force tested positive in a rapid antigen test. They also tested positive during the RT-PCR test.
However, Timbal assured that the OCD’s services will continue via their onlone channels as their workforce are subjected to a work-from-home setup.
“The 24/7 NDRRMC Operations Center, on the other hand, will continue to provide regular DRRM monitoring and coordination services,” he said.