27 more BFP-W. Visayas personnel relieved

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    TWENTY-SEVEN more personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Western Visayas were relieved from their posts yesterday over a breach of quarantine protocol in Boracay island.

    BFP-Western Visayas director Senior Supt. Roderick Aguto was earlier relieved by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año last Wednesday.

    “A total of 28 personnel of the BFP in Region VI were relieved and of course they are undergoing quarantine. These 28 people will be subjected to PCR testing,” Año said yesterday.

    Año said a total of 197 personnel, including the 28 relieved personnel, will also undergo quarantine due to the incident.

    Last Tuesday, officials confirmed that a female staff of the BFP-Western Visayas stayed at the newly-opened Boracay Island from June 12 to 14, pending the result of her COVID-19 test that later turned out positive.

    Año said the staff member, formerly assigned in Cebu City, reported to the headquarters of BFP-Western Visayas in Iloilo on June 5 and was subjected to PCR testing the following day.

    Año said 24 staff of the Boracay Hotel where the BFP personnel stayed and nine boatmen that serviced the staff and her companions were also put on quarantine.

    Meanwhile, Año said the government needs some 82,537 contact tracers to locate people who were exposed to those infected with the virus, in addition to the 52,463 contact tracers nationwide.

    The Department of Tourism has revoked the accreditation of Boracay Hotel because it had no permit to operate from the agency.

    Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said they are looking at improving Boracay’s pre-entry screening procedure due to the protocol violation caused by the BFP-Western Visayas staffer.