PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has been isolated after a Cabinet official he met with last week tested positive for the coronavirus, the presidential palace said on Monday.
No one can come close to the President while he is under quarantine, his spokesman Harry L. Roque told an online news briefing. Palace guards have also made sure that Mr. Duterte follows strict health protocols such as social distancing and avoiding physical contact.
Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said at the weekend he had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus again. He said he began experiencing flu-like symptoms including sore throat and body aches on Aug. 13, prompting him to go on self-quarantine.
He had himself tested for the virus the following day. He got his positive results on Aug. 15, adding that he was being closely monitored by doctors while under quarantine.
Mr. Año was the first Cabinet member to get the coronavirus back in March.
The Interior chief had called on people with whom he had close contact to go on self-quarantine and monitor possible symptoms in accordance with the Health department’s guidelines.
“I also make this announcement to emphasize the severity of the virus, and to encourage everyone to wear a mask, wash their hands frequently, and practice social distancing,” he said last week. “By adhering to these guidelines, we can all help keep our loved ones and our community safe.”
Mr. Duterte’s last talk to the nation was Monday last week, where Mr. Año was present. Mr. Roque said the President had not come into close contact with anyone during the meeting.
The President was being tested regularly for the coronavirus, Mr. Roque said. He added that Mr. Duterte, who was in his hometown of Davao City, was fine. — Gillian M. Cortez