Philippine Department of Justice compound on Covid-19 lockdown till June 29

This photo shows the Department of Justice office in Faura, Manila. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Jun 18, 2020, PhilStar. On-site work at the Department of Justice has been temporarily suspended after five of its personnel tested positive for coronavirus, The Philippine Star reported.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters Wednesday that he “ordered a lockdown on the DOJ main building, the new [National Prosecution Service] building, and the annex building near the Court of Appeals.”

This is “due to possible exposure to COVID-positive employees,” Guevarra added.

Earlier, 72 DOJ personnel tested positive for COVID-19 through a rapid test. Upon taking confirmatory tests, five coronavirus cases were confirmed.

“Of these five, three are in the DOJ proper (in the three separate buildings), one is in the field office, and one is an outsourced security guard,” the DOJ chief explained.

On-site work at the DOJ will resume on June 29.

But Guevarra said that department operations will continue. “Affidavits, motions, and other papers in connection with scheduled preliminary investigations conducted by state prosecutors will continue to be received at the frontline,” he said.

“Otherwise, the preliminary investigation may just have to be reset,” he added.

RELATED: Preliminary probe into Pimentel’s quarantine breach reset anew

The national tally for COVID-19 breached the 27,000th mark on Wednesday.

The Department of Health logged 457 new infections, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 27,238.

There are now 6,820 COVID-19 survivors, according to government data. Five more fatalities were recorded, pushing the death toll to 1,108.

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