MANILA, Philippines – Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay on Tuesday announced they tested negative for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In separate statements, Gatchalian and Binay both confirmed they are not infected with the virus, and thanked everyone for their prayers, support and encouraging messages.
The two legislators earlier submitted themselves to a voluntary home quarantine after a resource person who later tested positive for the virus attended a Senate hearing they were both in.
The Senate was closed earlier for disinfection, but Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that the upper chamber will remain “business as usual” to ensure that legislative work would continue even while community quarantine is being enforced.
Gatchalian said that with his negative test result, he is now ending his self-quarantine.
“After submitting myself to a COVID-19 test last Friday, I’m happy to announce today that I tested negative for the virus. Thus, I am ending my self-quarantine,” he said in a Facebook post.
Binay, however, said she will continue to stay home and finish her 14-day quarantine.
“I will still continue with my 14-day quarantine. Hindi pa po tapos ang laban natin kontra sa COVID-19, and we don’t want to have a false sense of security,” she wrote on her Facebook account.
The two senators also called on the public to seriously follow the regulations set by the government, including strict social distancing, practicing of proper hygiene, and home quarantine to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“There’s a lot of work to be done especially in the middle of this crisis while the number of infected cases continues to rise. We must pool our resources together to fight this dreaded virus. Hinihikayat ko po ang lahat na sumunod sa mga panuntunan na inilatag ng ating gobyerno para hindi na lumobo ang bilang ng mga kaso ng COVID-19,” Gatchalian said.
“COVID-19 is a serious matter. Let’s take the necessary precautions in protecting ourselves for the sake of our families and everyone else,” Binay said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the entire Luzon region under enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 12.
The Philippines has so far recorded 142 coronavirus infections with 12 deaths.
The Vietnamese government has turned over US$50,000-worth of COVID-19 RT-PCR test kits with accompanying extraction kits to the Department of Health (DOH).
The test kits were delivered to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., and Health Undersecretary Carolina Taino ceremonially received the donation from Vietnamese Ambassador Hoang Huy Chung.
“Describing the donation as a manifestation of the enduring close friendship between the Philippines and Vietnam, Ambassador Chung assured Secretary Locsin of the Vietnamese government’s support for the Philippines’ ongoing efforts in fighting COVID-19, as well as in promoting and protecting the welfare of the Filipino people,” the DFA said in a statement.
The donation comes ahead of the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the Philippines-Vietnam Strategic Partnership on November 17. AAC
Cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among Filipinos abroad increased to 20 more as of Thursday (October 28), according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Total confirmed cases, based on the recent report of the DFA, went up to 11,224 with 3,153 undergoing treatment and 7,254 recovered. Meanwhile, the total number of deaths reached 817.
“Figures [today] show 20 new confirmed cases, 6 new recoveries, and 1 new fatality due to COVID-19 among Filipinos in Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa,” the DFA said.
The total number of countries and regions with confirmed cases among Filipinos remains at 81.
“The DFA, together with its foreign service posts, remains fully committed to monitoring and assisting our nationals abroad amidst this ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the department said. AAC
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