You might have gotten wind of the news that actor Arjo Atayde has tested positive for COVID-19. And that it looks like he and production company Feelmaking Productions are in hot water after Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered a probe into the film crew over an alleged breach of protocols. Several statements have been released, so if you're wondering what's going on, we keep you caught up below.
The alleged protocol breach
Atayde was rushed to a hospital in Manila on Tuesday, August 17, after testing positive, announced Feelmaking Productions in a statement. Apart from Atayde, nine others from their group tested positive. On August 18, the Baguio City administration announced they would be looking into a possible protocol breach by the crew.
A team of around 100 individuals have been in Baguio City to shoot a film since last month, confirmed Mayor Magalong in a statement. They were given a permit to shoot so long as they will be staying in a bubble. "However, we found out that there were instances where crew members go home and come back to the city without passing through our triage so they are not tested," said Magalong.
"For some reason, Mr. Atayde left his group yesterday (Monday) without informing us," he added, saying that he was reaching out to the actor. The rest of the production crew are currently in quarantine and will be tested as well in five days.
The nine others who tested positive are asymptomatic and remain in Baguio City, Magalong told Regional News Group-RNG Luzon. They are now in an isolation facility.
Shooting is now on hold, added the mayor. "Maganda naman ang intensiyon na magsu-shoot sila dito dahil they would like to promote itong city. Pero meron namang mga commitments iyan. Nag-usap kami."
Feelmaking Productions speaks up
Atayde's production company issued a reply on the same day, signed by head of productions Ellen Criste. They said it was the mutual decision of the company, Atayde's parents, and doctors to rush the actor to a hospital in Manila. He has "a pre-existing medical condition" and "was suffering from high fever, headaches, and difficulty in breathing," according to the statement.
The company noted that they have "provided assistance" for the nine individuals who tested positive. They said that they have also coordinated with Baguio's officials regarding safety protocols.
"The Atayde family has reached out to Mayor Benjamin Magalong and we assure him and the people of Baguio that we will comply with our commitments to the city," said the statement.