- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte asked Harry Roque how is it that the latter turned out positive
- The president asked this question during the weekly briefing with other Cabinet members online
- Roque for his part said he does not know where he got the virus
- PRRD then remarked that he senses no difference in the manner the Malacañang SPOX acts or speaks
Harry Roque, during the weekly briefing with the Cabinet, gets asked by President Rodrigo Duterte on how did he get to turn out positive.
Earlier, the presidential spokesperson announced he tested positive for the coronavirus infection.
Roque’s revelations earlier in the day prompted President Duterte to ask him: “Bakit ka nag-positive?”
He then told the President, and everyone present during the Cabinet online conference, that he is not sure how or where he got the virus.
The presidential SPOX has been present in several ceremonial vaccinations in various hospitals to mark the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Roque, who is also the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases spokesman, he took two COVID tests recently.
On March 10, which is the day before he accompanied the President to his Dumaguete City travel, the Presidential SPOX tested negative for the infection.
He then took another COVID test on Sunday as he is due to meet PRRD the following day. This time, he tested positive.
He clarified, however, that he “did not have any close contact” with the President during their trip to Dumaguete.
Despite testing positive for the disease, Roque continued to work, prompting the President to remark that he does not see any difference in his behavior.
“I sense no difference in your deportment,” President Duterte told his SPOX. For the part of Roque, he assured the President to continue performing the duties of his office while isolated.
“Tuloy tuloy pa rin po ang press briefing, pero naka-isolate po ako para hindi po ako makahawa.” Roque told everyone present.
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Roque is among the top Malacañang officials to acquire the infection. Last week, PNP Chief Debold Sinas and PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva both disclosed they also tested positive for the coronavirus infection. As of Monday, the total coronavirus infection cases in the Philippines has reached 626,893. That very day, the country saw 5,404 more cases of COVID-19, the fourth highest so far in terms of daily tally, since the onset of the pandemic in the country.
Earlier, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto also announced he was 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 for the possibility that the virus will remain for a long time.
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