DepEd’s Briones tests positive for COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones on Thursday announced she tested positive for the coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19).
“As a government official and Cabinet member, and as a Filipino, it is my duty to announce that yesterday late afternoon, April 8, 2020, I was informed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine that I am positive for SARS-COV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19,” Briones said in a statement.
SARS-COV-2 is the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, as named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.
Briones, 79, further stated that her results came out positive on the second time she took the test for the viral disease.
She, along with other DepEd officials, previously went under self-quarantine as a participant in two of its meetings turned out to be COVID-19 positive.
“The first was on March 13, after a number of my [Executive Committee] members were exposed to a patient who tested positive for COVID-19,” the DepEd secretary said. “Similar with other Cabinet members, I was tested to ensure that there was no threat to my functioning as Education Secretary, and to protect my fellow Cabinet members and the President.”
“I received the result on March 16; it was negative.”
On April 2, Briones said, she had herself tested again, after fellow Cabinet member tested positive for COVID-19.
The DepEd Secretary said that she remains asymptomatic, saying “my body temperature, which is taken three times a day, remains normal.”
And despite being on isolation, she assured that she would continue working, such as attending virtual meetings of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, as well as preside over meetings of DepEd.
To date, the Philippines has a total of 4,076 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 124 recovered while 203 succumbed to the disease.
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