While waiting for result of COVID-19 test, OSAA staffer dies from pneumonia

/ 12:03 PM July 01, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A staff member from the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms (OSAA) on Wednesday died due to pneumonia, Senate officials told reporters.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III identified the staffer as 62-year-old Jimmy Sarmiento.


“[He] had pneumonia the other day. Rushed to [the] hospital earlier but not yet confirmed if Covid because he was tested yesterday only,” Sotto said in a message to reporters.

Earlier, a source said the OSAA staffer succumbed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but Senate Secretary Myra Villarica and OSAA chief Rene Samonte later clarified that the result of the employee’s virus swab test has yet to be released.


“Sadly, one of our employees passed away. Cause of death is pneumonia. He was swabbed for Covid but the results are not out yet. So we cannot confirm anything yet,” Villarica said in a message.

Samonte added that it has also yet to be confirmed if the OSAA staffer had contracted COVID-19.

“Not yet confirmed as covid case, he was just tested yesterday, no result yet and died this morning,” he said in a separate message.

“He was diagnosed with pneumonia last Monday June 29 and he had a previous angioplasty some years ago,” he added.

In March, a staffer of the office of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. succumbed to COVID-19.

The Senate is currently under a “semi lockdown” after several employees tested positive for the coronavirus disease, Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier told reporters.

Citing the Senate’s Medical and Dental Bureau, Sotto’s office said there were 16 COVID-19 cases recorded in the Senate since March.


Of the number, two are active cases, while 14 have already recovered.


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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