Duterte’s partner, children get tested for COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avaceña and children Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte, Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, and Veronica Duterte have all been tested for COVID-19.
This was confirmed Tuesday by the President’s long-time aid and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go in a message to reporters.
“Swab pa lang. Also [B]aste and [P]aolo,” Go said, when asked to confirm reports of Avaceña and Veronica getting tested.
“’Di pa napadala [sa] Manila (It hasn’t been brought to Manila yet),” he added.
However, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte earlier reportedly said her brother Baste is now a person under monitoring (PUM) for COVID-19 after showing symptoms and that he has voluntarily submitted to a 14-day quarantine.
Duterte tested negative for COVID-19, Malacañang previsouly confirmed.
The President was earlier tested for the virus after several members of his Cabinet decided to place themselves under quarantine due to exposure to a fellow government official found positive for COVID-19.
According to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM), only those identified as Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) will be tested for the contagious respiratory disease.
“There are materials circulating on social media advertising the services of RITM. It states that RITM is open 24/7 for free testing, and that anyone experiencing cough, colds, or fever may get themselves tested there. This is not true. We have to strictly observe protocols on how this must be done,” Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III had admitted there is a shortage of testing kits used by RITM, but assured more are coming from South Korea and China.
The President has declared a state of public health emergency throughout the country due to rising transmission of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2.
He also placed the entire region of Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine, where “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated; and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”
People who have COVID-19 could recover since for most people, its symptoms were mild like fever and cough. But the illness could also be worse or serious for others and possibly lead to pneumonia, especially for older adults and those with existing health problems.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic since it has already infected more than 160,000 people and killed over 6,000 in over 140 countries all over the world.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.