BREAKING: Koko tests positive for COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the lawmaker confirmed in a statement Wednesday.
“I was informed late last night March 24, 2020 that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The swab was taken last Friday, March 20, 2020,” he said.
Pimentel is the second senator to test positive for COVID-19 after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
“Since the last day of session March 11, 2020 I had already tried my best to limit my movement. I will call (to the best of my ability) those I remember meeting during those crucial days so that I can inform them of my test result,” Pimentel went on.
“I have quarantined myself upon the doctor’s advice and consistent with the protocol. I feel I am, with God’s help, on the way to recovery,” he added.
Pimentel told reporters in a Viber message that he experienced fever of around 38 degrees Celsius last March 18. He said he also experienced a minor cough and slight sore throat.
“Body pains like flu, yes, around March 14. Now body is back to normal (with the) usual aches felt even (without) the flu. Chills none. Colds felt (in the) throat area. Diarrhea, on-off,” he added.
In an interview on CNN Philippines, Pimentel said he was not “particularly very busy lately” but added that he recently attended two birthday parties.
He was supposed to meet with a Zamboanga town mayor and two ambassadors for a courtesy call but they were all canceled, he noted.
The senator also asked for prayers, especially for his wife “who is about to give birth in the next few days to our first baby girl, and with whom I cannot be at this very important point in our lives as parents.”
“I want to express again my profound gratitude to our frontline medical workers throughout the country, who are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis to bring a halt to this pandemic. They are the true heroes in this fight,” Pimentel’s statement further read.
The lawmaker then asked the public to observe social distancing, observe enhanced community quarantine measures, and to practice proper hygiene like frequent hand washing as they are “the best strategies to beat this disease at this time.”
“I have faith that together we can overcome these challenging times,” Pimentel said.
To date, the Department of Health (DOH) has so far recorded over 500 COVID-19 cases in the country.
Of the number, 35 died while 20 patients have already recovered.
With the rise of cases in the country, the government has placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the disease.
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