BREAKING: DILG chief Año tests positive for coronavirus disease
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, vice-chairman of the National Action Plan council against COVID-19, has contracted the coronavirus disease.
In a text message to reporters on Tuesday, Año said he received the result from Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) this afternoon.
“On March 27, I got tested. Today, March 31, I received the result from RITM informing me that I am positive for COVID-19,” he said.
Año also called on all his close contacts to undergo self-quarantine and observe their symptoms.
“I make this announcement to call the attention of all persons I had close contact with to go on self-quarantine and observe any symptoms, in accordance with Department of Health guidelines,” Año said.
Año started his self-quarantine on March 26 after learning he was exposed to a COVID-19 positive person.
He was first exposed to ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap, who initially was reported to have tested positive – and later negative – for the coronavirus disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
But Año still continued his self-isolation after learning that Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. was found positive for the illness. Año had a meeting with Santos at an event in Pasay City.
In an interview with dzBB, Año said he is asymptomatic, adding that he will continue his job as the head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) during the health crisis despite his situation.
“Okay naman tayo wala naman tayong symptoms. I feel normal. Kailangan tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho… by end of the lockdown, ma-flatten na natin ‘yung curve na ito at sumunod lahat sa panuntunan ng gobyerno,” he said.
(I am okay, I have no symptoms. I feel normal. I have to continue my work so that by the end of the lockdown, we can flatten the curve and everyone should follow the government’s guidelines.)
Asked where he thinks he might have contracted the disease, Año said he had interacted with four positive COVID-19 people, including Santos and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Philippines has 2,084 people infected with COVID-19, including 88 deaths and 49 recoveries.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Globally, the virus already infected more than 800,045 people and killed more than 37,800 as of March 31. On the other hand, over 172,310 people have recovered so far from the disease.
The COVID-19 outbreak started in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in late 2019.
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