Palace assures Duterte ‘fit and healthy’ after Duque exposure to coronavirus | Inquirer News

Palace assures Duterte ‘fit and healthy’ after Duque exposure to coronavirus

/ 10:51 PM March 19, 2020


Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER file photo / JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang assured Thursday night that President Rodrigo Duterte is “fit and healthy” after his Health Secretary Francisco Duque III subjected himself into self-quarantine due to exposure to a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient.

Duque, who was with Duterte in recent Malacañang events, underwent self-quarantine beginning Wednesday due to his interaction with an official of the Department of Health (DOH) who was found positive for coronavirus.


“I would like to assure our countrymen that he’s [Duterte] fit and healthy. Wala siyang sakit, wala siyang sintomas ng kahit na ano [He’s not sick, he doesn’t show any COVID-19 symptoms],” Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said in an interview over dzMM.


Before the DOH confirms that one of its senior officials has been infected by the virus, Duterte tested negative for COVID-19.

Panelo, likewise, assured that Cabinet officials observe social distancing in their meetings in light of the coronavirus crisis in the country.

“Makikita mo ‘yun sa meeting namin. Talagang malalayo sa isa’t isa, lahat kami naka takip ang aming mga mukha–bibig, ilong,” he said.

(You can see in our meeting. We really observe distancing, we all cover our faces–mouth, nose.)

Duterte took the COVID-19 test after some members of his Cabinet were exposed to a person who tested positive for the disease during an event last March 5.

All the officials, however, also tested negative for the virus.


To date, the Philippines has 217 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Health, Malacañang, Outbreak, pandemic, Rodrigo Duterte

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