- Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday revealed he tested positive for COVID-19
- He said in an online briefing that the results “came as a shock” to him
- SPOX Roque disclosed that he took a swab test on Sunday, March 14, in preparation for an upcoming cabinet meeting
- Upon receiving the results, he decided to conduct an online briefing so he would not be near anyone
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque tested positive for COVID-19 infection. The Palace SPOX himself revealed the news on Monday.
In a report published by CNN, he received his test results around 11:29 a.m. today. He then decided to do an online briefing, where he conducts the conference all by himself, to avoid further contact with others.
Roque admitted feeling shocked upon receiving the test results. “It came as a shock that after 35 tests, we came back positive,” the palace SPOX said.
He said he has been regularly undergoing COVID-19 tests as required by protocols. The SPOX is calling on those who he came into close contact with to go on a self-quarantine.
According to a Rappler report, the last public event that Roque attended was last Friday, March 12, in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. He shared the same table with Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc and Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta Marcos.
The last time he tested negative was on March 10, a day before he joined President Rodrigo Duterte in the unveiling of administration projects in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.
A Philstar report also stated that the palace SPOX held a briefing in Davao City on March 11. It also mentioned that Roque undergoes around three RT-PCR tests each week, as this is a requirement when he joins the president.
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Roque joins the list of top Malacañang officials to acquire the infection. During the weekend, PNP Chief Debold Sinas and PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva both disclosed they also tested positive for the coronavirus infection. Last year, DILG Secretary Año announced he also tested positive for the virus.
Earlier, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto also announced he is undergoing quarantine due to close contact with a person who contracted COVID-19. Sotto canceled all of his face-to-face meetings and appointments. The Mayor also confirmed the earlier reports that his driver passed away due to COVID-19. During quarantine, Sotto will be attending meetings through Viber or Zoom.
Last month, the head of the European Union's disease control agency stated that there is a possibility that the novel coronavirus could last for a long time. This was even though there is already a global vaccine rollout that is currently taking place. It revealed that the virus seemed to be well-adapted to humans, which means that the vaccine may have to be tweaked every now and then. It appealed to people as a whole that everyone should just be prepared at the possibility that the virus will remain for a long time.
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