Several PH consular staff members in NY exposed to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Several Filipino consular staff members in New York have been exposed to COVID-19, the Philippine Consulate General there announced on Friday.
“The Philippine Consulate General in New York advises the public that several members of its consular staff had been exposed to COVID-19,” the consulate said in a statement.
“As such, the Philippine Consulate strongly encourages those who visited the Philippine Center on Wednesday, 13 April 2022, to get themselves tested as soon as possible,” it added.
‘Business as usual; OAV unaffected’
The consulate, nevertheless, assured the public that the consular section will be “business-as-usual” when it resumes operations on Monday.
“We also assure our kababayan that overseas absentee voting processes will not be affected,” it added.
On Thursday, the consulate announced that it was able to successfully conduct the final testing and sealing of vote counting machines following a delay in the delivery of election materials early this month.
“The entire process, which took nine hours, was witnessed by authorized members of the Filipino Community and members of the media. It was also streamed live on the Consulate’s Facebook page,” the consulate said.
“With this, it is all systems go for the conduct of overseas voting in New York and surrounding states with the Consulate expecting to receive the first batch of ballots it had earlier sent out by early next week,” it added.
New COVID-19 variants alert
Meanwhile, the consulate reminded Filipinos in New York to comply with basic COVID-19 safety protocols as local authorities monitor the “prevalence of two new COVID–19 variants.”
“The Philippine Consulate General in New York wishes to inform all kababayan that New York state is monitoring the prevalence of two new COVID-19 variants. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Omicron variant, BA.2, now accounts for more than 92 percent of COVID-19 cases circulating in the New York region,” it said in a separate advisory on Thursday.
“Manhattan has been reported to have the highest transmission jumps in recent weeks in the city. While the alert level is still ‘low’ in New York City, kababayan are advised to exercise basic COVID-19 safety protocols, such as effective hand washing, and covering [one’s] mouth whenever coughing or sneezing,” it added.
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