NAGA CITY --- National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Bicol chief, Engr. Freddie M. Toquero has ordered the implementation of stringent measures in all offices of the agency in the region after one of its employees in the Sorsogon Masbate Irrigation Management Office (SMIMO) in Buhatan, Sorsogon City tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
On Friday, Aug. 7, some 25 personnel of the SMIMO who were close contacts of the employee infected by the virus were placed on quarantine by the City Health Office (CHO) of Sorsogon.
The 25 NIA personnel are on quarantine in the NIA office in Barangay Buhatan where a total lockdown was imposed on the said office to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and ensure the safety of other employees and NIA’s clients.
Some 31 other employees are presently under home quarantine as ordered by their respective barangay officials.
All the personnel on quarantine, either in the NIA office or their houses, are performing their duties under a work-from-home set up.
Toquero, in a memorandum issued on Aug. 7, directed Engr. Alan N. Fabricante, SMIMO acting manager and 18 other employees not covered by the quarantine order to temporarily hold office at the San Ramon San Francisco River Irrigation System (SRSFRIS) in Bulan, Sorsogon to ensure the continued provision of irrigation service to the farmers in the province.
In an earlier directive issued Aug. 4, he also directed all concerned officials of the region to strictly implement measures for the prevention of the spread of corona virus disease in all NIA offices regionwide.
In addition to the existing safety protocols, the NIA Bicol chief has also required NIA chiefs of offices to designate safety officers who will be responsible for implementing health and safety protocols such as wearing of facemask, maintaining social distance and proper hygiene among employees.
All NIA employees were also required to accomplish the online Daily Checkup Disclosure Checklist (DCDC) for a more comprehensive monitoring of flu-like symptoms, places visited, contacts with suspected Covid positive individuals and other information.
Clients and guests going inside NIA offices are also required to fill-out safety data sheet upon entry and are encouraged to make appointments prior to visiting NIA offices. Phone numbers of the respective heads of offices in the region were also made available through its official facebook page, @NIABicol.
NIA and its field offices in the region resumed its operation right after the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the agency’s bid to continuously provide its clientele and farmer beneficiaries of services despite the existence of the Covid-19 pandemic.