Senate secretary: A member of Senator Pia Cayetano’s staff tested positive for COVID-19

(Eagle News) — A staff member at the Office of Senator Pia Cayetano has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019.

A statement from Senate Secretary Myra Marie Villarica said the patient had no recent travel history, and contracted the virus from a person close to the patient’s family.

Villarica said the patient reported for work on March 11, the last day of session, but did not go to the plenary hall.

“She did not manifest any of the symptoms of COVID-19 then. It was only after March 11 that she exhibited mild symptoms,” Villarica said.

The Senate secretary said neither the patient nor the staff members who were in direct contact with the patient were required to report for work during the special session in the Senate on March 23.

“Rest assured that all measures are being undertaken by the Senate and the Office of Senator Cayetano to address the needs of the patient,” Villarica said, adding the Senate medical team has already been instructed to begin contact tracing, impose quarantine measures and give assistance to the employees as needed.

“Once again, Senate President Vicente Sotto III enjoins all employees to follow the national and local government guidelines on the enhanced community quarantine, including social distancing, and to give an honest reporting of one’s medical condition should any of the symptoms present itself for proper evaluation by health professionals,” the Senate secretary said.

Earlier, Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Koko Pimentel and Sonny Angara said they tested positive for the virus.

Pimentel has come under fire for accompanying his pregnant wife to Makati Medical Center despite being a patient under investigation.

He has since apologized. With a report from Meanne Corvera