Tue. May 11th, 2021

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte would only be advised to repeat his test for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), in the event that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III tests positive for the infectious disease, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.

This comes after Duterte had close contact with Duque who is currently under home quarantine after a DOH director tested positive for Covid-19.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Duque is still “in good condition” and now awaiting the results of his Covid-19 test.

Vergeirre said Duterte need not take another test for Covid-19 for now, unless Duque’s pending test results show that the Health chief is infected with the coronavirus disease.

“Kapag lumabas po ang resulta ni Secretary Duque at kung sakaling ito po ay mag-positibo siya, saka po natin bibigyan ng abiso si Presidente para mag-test ulit at para mag-quarantine (If Secretary Duque’s test result turns out to be positive, we will advise the President to take another test and undergo self-quarantine),” she said in a Palace press briefing.

In an interview with dzMM on Friday, Duque assured the public that he was “okay” and not exhibiting any red-flag symptoms of Covid-19 infection.

Duque was tested for Covid-19 because he has asthma and hypertension, and belongs to the elderly population, Vergeirre said.

‘Fit and healthy’

On Monday, Duterte was with Duque when the implementation of month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon was declared.

Duterte already underwent a test for Covid-19 at Bahay Pagbabago in Malacañan on March 12 after having close contact with some Cabinet members who have direct exposure to an infected individual.

On March 13, Duterte’s test results bared that he was negative for the coronavirus disease.

In an interview with ANC on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo maintained that Duterte remains “fit and healthy” despite his recent interaction with Duque.

Panelo said Duterte, 74, is asymptomatic and can still perform his duties well.

“I would like to assure our countrymen that he is fit and healthy. Wala siyang sakit. Wala siyang sintomas ng kahit ano (He is not sick. He is not exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19),” he said.

The Philippines now has 217 Covid-19 cases, with 17 deaths and eight cases of recovery. (PNA)

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