Days ahead of SONA, House records 19th COVID-19 case | Inquirer News
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Days ahead of SONA, House records 19th COVID-19 case

/ 05:24 PM July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Merely days before President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa, the House of Representatives logged Friday the 19th coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case among its personnel.

House Secretary General Jose Luis Montales said the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 is assigned at the Procurement and Supply Management Service of the lower chamber.

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The said employee last reported for work on July 20 who went home after experiencing a clogged nose.

“He is presently on home quarantine. Contact tracing is ongoing,” Montales said.

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Meanwhile, Montales said one of the previously confirmed COVID-19 cases in the House has now tested negative.

On Thursday, a 52-year-old employee assigned at the House’s Bills & Index Service passed away after testing positive for COVID-19.

Several health protocols will be implemented at the Batasang Pambansa for Duterte’s penultimate SONA.

House Administrative Department Deputy Secretary General Dr. Ramon Ricardo Roque earlier announced that lawmakers who would physically attend the SONA will be required to undergo swap and rapid testing for COVID-19.

Health protocols that will be implemented include the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields for those entering the session hall.

Physical distancing of two meters would also be strictly implemented, said Roque.

Floor markings of at least six feet apart will also be placed at all entrances, elevators, and places with foot traffic while one-way stairwells will be designated to avoid congestion.

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Roque added that health screening, checking of body temperature, disinfection and submission of health declaration forms will likewise be conducted at all building entrances.

Persons with a temperature reading of 37.5 degrees or higher will be denied entry and instead be redirected to quarantine tents attended by medical personnel, Roque said. [ac]

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