36 test positive for virus in Parañaque Hall of Justice

Thirty-six employees at the Hall of Justice and Legislative building in Paranaque City tested positive for coronavirus disease, prompting the local government to close the building until Sunday.

Mayor Edwin Olivarez placed the building, situated at the back of City Hall, under lockdown from April 5 to 11 upon the recommendation of city health officer Olga Virtusio.

The offices being housed in the Legislative Building include those of the Vice Mayor, 18 city councilors, Barangay Operations Office and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.

The legislative building headed by Vice Mayor Rico Golez was placed on lockdown on March 16 to 21 after several employees tested positive for COVID-19.

On the other hand, the offices at the justice hall include the regional trial courts, municipal trial courts, prosecutor’s office and clerk of courts.

City officials said all court hearings and transactions at the justice hall will be postponed this week until further notices.

Virtusio on Monday informed Olivarez that a total of 36 employees from the legislative and justice hall offices contracted COVID-19, “which need immediate attention.”

As of April 5, the city government recorded 13,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 11,763 (87 percent) recoveries and 319 (2.4 percent) deaths, leaving 1,430 active cases.

Barangay BF has the highest number of active cases with 155 among the city’s 16 barangays. This was followed by Barangay Don Bosco with 149 active cases and Barangay San Dionisio with 141 active cases.

Virtusio recommended mandatory RT-PCR tests on all occupants of the two offices as she suggested to reduce the number of personnel that can physically report for work at the city hall complex.

City chief information officer Mario Jimenez also announced that the office hours will be shortened this week due to the surge in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff.

Jimenez said the city government decided to close the offices of hall of justice and legislative on Saturday and Sunday as they will conduct containment and disinfection activities in the entire city hall compound.

He said they were set to closely monitor all positive and probable COVID-19 cases among the workforce and implement strict isolation protocols including contact tracing.

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