(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte underwent testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) along with his former aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, at the Bahay Pagbabago in the Malacanang grounds at around 5 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2020.
They were tested by health personnel from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) led by Director Celia Carlos.
Go, earlier explained in a statement, that they decided to take the test even though they do no not feel any respiratory symptoms.
“We are not doing this because we have symptoms of COVID-19; We are doing this to ensure that we are fit and healthy, to engage the public and perform our duties in the coming days and weeks. As always, the President and I remain ready to serve and die for the Filipino people,” Go said in a statement.
“Considering that some Cabinet members we engage with regularly have been exposed to individuals who were tested positive of COVID-19 and have decided to undergo self-quarantine, it is just prudent for us to take precautionary measures in compliance with the advice of our health officials,” he added.
President Duterte is expected to make a televised address later tonight regarding the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease had earlier submitted to him its recommendation regarding the COVID-19 situation in the country.
As of the latest count, the Department of Health announced that the country has a total of 52 confirmed COVID-19 cases after the addition of three new cases on Thursday, March 12.
The DOH also confirmed the death of a COVID-19 patient, a 67-year-old Filipino female who was confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital, becoming the first Filipino to die from the disease.
She was the wife of another COVID-19 patient who attended a March 5 hearing at the Senate when he still did not know that he had the virus. A day later, March 6, he exhibited respiratory symptoms and was confirmed to be COVID-19 positive only on Wednesday, March 11.
This is the second death for a COVID-19 patient in the country. The first was a 44-year old Chinese male tourist from Wuhan City earlier confined at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.