By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Party-list Cong. Jericho urged the House leadership to conduct a thorough contact tracing among congressmen and personnel in the House of Representatives after congressional staff infected with COVID-19 died early morning of Monday.
Nograles, representative of Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list, said the House secretariat under Secretary-General Atty. Jose Luis Montales should fast track to contact tracing following the death of a House personnel assigned at the printing service department, less than three days after being tested positive for COVID-19.
“I hope the Secretary General will conduct contact tracing in the House of Representatives as soon as possible,” said Nograles.
Nograles stressed that those who did have direct contact with that said personnel must undergo a COVID-19 test and should be placed first under a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
“With the death of the said employee, it is more important to do this contact tracing to find out who among the employees, the members, the visitors, and other have been in contact directly or to the second or third degree (contact),” said Nograles.
Nograles said “what is important at the moment is proper mapping and proper containment” to avert the spread of COVID-19 virus to other members and employees of the Lower House.
“Contact tracing is a basic response for any confirmed case, much more so in the case of death,” he added.
In his private message to members and personnel of the Lower House, House secretary-general Montales confirmed that a certain “Brandon” from the agency’s printing service department passed away around 1:45 a.m. of March 15.
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that Brandon from our printing service passed away this morning. He left behind his loving parents, wife, and two children,” Montales’ message to congressmen and House employees read.
Montales earlier said the infected personnel “has no history of travel to any country with confirmed COVID-19 case and has also “no known history of exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.”
He added that the deceased staff “has been in and out of the hospital since last year for various ailments” and was recently confined for “community-acquired pneumonia.”