BuCor chief positive for COVID-19
BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag said he is not sure where he got the virus. His driver, close-in security and BuCor spokesman Gabriel Chaclag have contracted the disease.
STAR/File
BuCor chief positive for COVID-19
Evelyn Macairan, Ralph Edwin Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag has been infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 along with his driver and close-in security from the police Special Action Force.

In a phone interview with The STAR yesterday, Bantag said his swab test result showed that he was positive for COVID-19.

Bantag said he is not sure where he got the virus. His driver, close-in security and BuCor spokesman Gabriel Chaclag have contracted the disease.

“Apat na kaming positive,” Bantag said. “While waiting for my swab test result, I had chills for two nights. Nagkalagnat ako, cough, headache, mainit katawan ko, giniginaw ako.”

Prior to his infection, Bantag said none of his aides reported having COVID-19 symptoms.

The BuCor chief said he started manifesting symptoms on Sept. 18, a day after he underwent swab test.

“Vitamin C at paracetamol lang ininom ko. Wala na ako symptoms after two days. Advice ko sa public mag take sila ng Vitamin C,” Bantag said.

He said he would be working remotely from his quarters at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) while completing his 14-day quarantine.

Bantag’s security escorts, four drivers and another aide who had close contact with him and Chaclag also underwent swab tests.

Quarantine ward

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration yesterday opened a quarantine ward at the NBP to house foreign inmates with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

The facility can accommodate up to 60 people, Immigration Deputy Commissioner Aldwin Alegre said.

Alegre said five foreign inmates have contracted the virus.

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