RTVM on 15-day lockdown as more employees test positive for COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 28) — State-run Radio Television Malacañang’s office is on a 15-day lockdown starting Tuesday until August 11 as more of its personnel caught the coronavirus disease.

The RTVM covered President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday, but only those who tested negative for COVID-19 were deployed.

RTVM Executive Director Demic Pabalan in a statement said two employees were diagnosed with COVID-19 using RT-PCR testing, considered as the gold standard in detecting the viral illness, while four others were found with the disease through rapid antibody tests.

“As a precautionary measure and while awaiting the results of the confirmatory tests and further contact-tracing activities, no one, except personnel assigned for the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS) press briefing on Tuesday, 28 July 2020, were allowed to report for work,” Pabalan said.

He added that RTVM is now following a protocol wherein only those who test negative for COVID-19 can cover presidential events.

RTVM is under the Presidential Communications Operations Office, which has 22 active COVID-19 cases. A PCOO employee died back in April due to the disease. PCOO extended the suspension of physical work indefinitely while its workers are under a work-from-home arrangement to prevent further spread of the virus.

READ: Roque taps private crew for press briefing after Malacañang's communications staff catch COVID-19