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State Secretary Ricardo Jalad, the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), has contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as confirmed on Friday, August 27.

OCD spokesman Mark Timbal told reporters that Jalad was among 116 OCD and NDRRMC employees who tested Tuesday through Thursday and found positive for SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, were found.

“He has mild symptoms and is currently in isolation. He is fully vaccinated and [he] told me he was fine, “said Timbal.

As the OCD administrator, Jalad leads the implementation of the country’s comprehensive national civil protection and disaster risk reduction and management program.

The OCD is the executive arm of the NDRRMC, a multisectoral organization responsible “for the protection and well-being of people in the event of a disaster or emergency” including the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

The OCD Central Office im Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City was temporarily closed for disinfection Thursday after 116 of 380 of its employees tested positive for COVID-19 based on their RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests. The shutdown will last until August 30.

The outbreak of COVID-19 cases at OCD headquarters began when two employees working within their skeletal strength tested positive in a rapid antigen test. They also tested positive during the RT-PCR test.

However, Timbal assured that the OCD services will continue through their online channels as their employees are subject to a home office setup.

” The 24/7 NDRRMC Operations Center, on the other hand, will continue to provide regular DRRM monitoring and coordination services, ”he said.