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BI seeks personal protective equipment, masks, alcohol for its own frontliners

By Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has appealed to government and to the private sector in getting personal protective equipment (PPEs) for its frontliners amid the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“There is a lack of PPEs for frontline personnel, especially those assigned at the airports and seaports,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

He said they were it finding hard to procure PPEs, facemasks, and alcohol due to worldwide demand for these products.

“Hence we often rely on donations from other government agencies and concerned entities,” he added.

Meanwhile, Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina described the situation at various international gateways as difficult, but still manageable.

“Officers feel threatened by this virus, there is always a fear of being exposed to it,” he stated.

Immigration officers, according to Medina, are the first to interact with arriving passengers that might be infected by the deadly disease.

He said “our men have resorted to using makeshift or reusable facemasks to protect themselves.”

In appealing for support in securing PPEs, Morente said “we are one of those at risk in getting this virus and the much-needed supplies are easily depleted.”

But he said BI personnel will always be vigilant in checking the health of the men and women in the service, especially frontliners.

“We have instituted procedures for that, and have a medical team on standby to conduct triage and ensure that those who need testing are able to do so,” he stated.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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