Forty-six (46) employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement that of the 46 employees infected by the virus, nine have already recovered while the 37 are still housed in government-accredited quarantine facilities.

Morente also disclosed that the BI had 93 suspected Covid-19 cases but half of them tested negative for the virus after undergoing home quarantine.

He added that none of the BI employees have succumbed to the virus.

“We are doing our best in seeing to it that health protocols aimed at preventing the spread of the virus are strictly observed in our offices and workplaces,” Morente said.

Morente disclosed that only one employee that tested positive for Covid-19 is presently confined and recovering in a hospital.

The immigration chief also revealed that that half of those who tested positive for the virus are currently assigned at the BI’s main office in Intramuros, Manila. The rest are stationed in international airports in Pasay and Cebu, and the bureau’s satellite and extension offices in Metro Manila, and elsewhere nationwide.

Morente said the public should not be surprised that some BI employees were infected by the virus since immigration offices and ports of entry are always crowded with people who transact business or are embarking on trips to and from abroad increasing the risk of BI personnel who are always exposed to the risk of getting the virus.

“We are one of the few government agencies whose personnel render frontline services, not only in our offices, but in the ports of entry as well. It is unavoidable that some of our employees do come in contact or are exposed to persons who are carriers of this virus,” he said.  Rommel F. Lopez