Coronavirus hits Albay seminary, DPWH offices

LEGAZPI City --- The Major Seminary of the Diocese of Legazpi and two offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) here were among those reported hit by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), according to church and DPWH officials.

DPWH Bicol regional director Virgilio Eduarte said three of his employees last week were found positive for Covid-19, bringing to eight the total number of DPWH regional office employees already infected by the virus since March 15, 2020.

He said he placed the regional office on lockdown since Thursday, Sept. 17, even as the Albay 1st District Engineering Office (DEO) also announced that three of its employees were also found Covid-19 positive.

Engr. Simon Arias, Albay 1st DEO chief, confirmed that three of his employees aged below 30 were found positive for Covid-19, which prompted him to placed the district office on lockdown.

Meanwhile, Monsignor Noe Delos Santos of the Major Seminary of the Diocese of Legazpi at Barangay Sipi, Daraga, Albay, confirmed that the seminary was also affected by Covid-19 issue after one of the priests was allegedly found positive during his voluntary medical check up.

Delos Santos, however, clarified that five of the priests in the seminary including himself and a utility boy had voluntarily submitted themselves for swab test since Aug. 14 after a priest tested positive.

The priest who was Covid-19 positive was released two days after his confinement at the Bicol Regional and Training Hospital. He quarantined himself at the Sipi Seminary. He was asymptomatic.

Delos Santos lamented that the results of the swab tests they had at the Daraga Municipal Health Office (MHO) on Aug. 14 have not been released 14 days after their voluntary quarantine. He said the nurse at the Daraga MHO could not also explain the whereabouts of their swab samples.

He said because of the absence of their swab test results, the MHO could not issue them the health clearance declaring them as free from Covid-19.

As of Sept. 22, records of the Department of Health regional office showed a total of 2,366 active covid-19 cases in the Bicol region with Albay having a record of 141 active cases.