MANILA – More than a dozen personnel of the government's witness protection program has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, prompting the Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider an extended lockdown.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra told newsmen on Friday that 17 personnel contracted the virus and will be quarantined immediately.

"We are still monitoring (the situation). I have just been informed today. We may have to extend the temporary lockdown of the DOJ premises unless the rising transmission rate is arrested," he said.

The Secretary ordered the suspension of on-site work on March 18 to 23, 2021 after seven new cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 17.

Except for a skeleton staff who will receive documents and attend to other frontline services, the rest work from home. (PNA)