Zubiri says confirmatory test yielded negative result for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2020   •   676

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said he is free from the live novel coronavirus strain that causes the disease based on the result of his confirmatory test.

In a message to reporters, Zubiri said his PCR-based test conducted by the Philippine Red Cross yielded a negative result.

“Thank you so much for the concern and prayers! I AM NEGATIVE… Thank you to our Lord God above! My confirmatory test with the Philippine Red Cross has come out and shows that I no longer have live RNA cells of Covid-19,” he said.

“What the infectious disease experts  have told us is that the DOH result yesterday possibly detected remnants of dead virus cells which is a common occurrence with recovered Patients,” he added.

The senator on Monday said he took a confirmatory test after his three rapid tests showed his body is possessing anti-bodies, and a swab test yielded positive result.

Zubiri was among the eight senators who had to undergo COVID-19 tests on Sunday as part of the safety protocols for attending President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address in Batasang Pambansa on Monday.

The test result prompted Zubiri to cancel his attendance and opted to monitor the event from home.

The senator said the Red Cross’ PCR machines can detect and differentiate live virus from the remnants of the cells.

“Studies from Europe, Asia and the US have shown that recovered patients with antibodies are no longer infectious and if COVID cells are discovered in their system it is most likely remnants of the dead COVID cells which can no longer contaminate as found in extensive studies in South Korea,” he said.

“Ibig sabihin nito ay hindi na po ito nakakahawa at ligtas po ang recovered patient habang meron pa po siyang Antibodies,” he added.

Zubiri, along with Senators Sonny Angara and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, contracted COVID-19 in the previous months but they have all since recovered.

San Juan Mayor Zamora contracts COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora confirmed on Monday that he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a Facebook post, Zamora said he is currently under quarantine at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

“I would like to announce that I have tested positive with COVID-19. My results came out today after a routine swab test yesterday evening, February 28, 2021. A confirmatory test was done today and the results turned out to be positive,” he said.

“I have decided to quarantine myself in Cardinal Santos Medical Center to ensure that I do not transmit the virus to anyone else in the community and to protect everyone around me including my children and my wife who is a cancer survivor,” he added.

I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am asymptomatic and in good physical condition. I have decided to quarantine…

Posted by Mayor Francis Zamora on Monday, March 1, 2021

He advised those who came in contact with him in the past few days to have themselves tested for the virus and coordinate with the City Health Office for the conduct of free RT-PCR test.

Duterte to consider nationwide MGCQ if vaccine supply is enough

Marje Pelayo   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is considering the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 to further ease quarantine restrictions in the country particularly in Metro Manila.

“I am considering it. Our economy is really down, as in down so the earlier na mabilisan itong vaccine, the better,” he said.

However, he wants to make sure first that there is enough supply of COVID-19 vaccines not only in Metro Manila but in all provinces before he allows the full reopening of the country’s economy to prevent further decline.

“If the vaccine is available to anybody for one reason or another, sa mga probinsiya na-distribute na ‘yan kasi hindi naman mag-abot ng 110 million. Sa estimate nila it’s about 40 million. Kung maka-hit tayo ng 40 million o nandiyan na ‘yong vaccine, maski mag — mayroon tayong mga 20, 30 (million) bubuksan ko na.” the President said.

President Duterte acknowledges the people’s need to work to be able to eat and survive and this will only be sustained by reopening the economy and also to allow business to regrow.

Over the weekend, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the National Capital Region and some other areas will remain under general community quarantine on March 1.

The rest of the country will remain under modified general community quarantine.

Recommendations placing NCR under MGCQ were also raised, however, the President responded that without vaccine rollout, no MGCQ will be declared.

On Sunday (February 28), China’s donation of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine has arrived in the country and the government is expected to begin vaccine rollout on Monday (March 1). MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

China’s donated vaccines arrive in Phl; sparks hope for end of COVID-19

Maris Federez   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The first batch of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, China-based Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac, finally arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Sunday afternoon (February 28).

In a small ceremony, key government officials led by President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the arrival of 600,000 doses of donated vaccines from Beijing.  

“I convey my sincere gratitude to the Chinese people and the government of China for this gesture of friendship and solidarity,” President Rodrigo Duterte said at the ceremony.

The president reiterated that “vaccines should be treated as a global public good and be made available to all.”

“I’m confident more batches of vaccine will be available with great dispatch until every Filipino will be given the chance to get vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the arrival of Sinovac vaccine — the first COVID-19 vaccine to reach the Philippines — has sparked hope that the pandemic is nearing its end.

“That plane is carrying hope that we can finally return to our lives and light for our very dark journey,” Roque said.

“Masayang masaya po, buong Pilipinas po nagdiriwang, patapos na po ang pandemya, nariyan na ang bakuna,” Roque said.

“Makakabalik na tayo sa ating mga [dating buhay]. Nagsimula na po tayo, tuloy-tuloy na po tayo,” he added.

Health workers in the National Capital Region are expected to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines by March 1. —/mbmf

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