About 45 PSG members infected with COVID-19, says Durante
MANILA, Philippines — Around 45 active cases of COVID-19 have been detected among members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), its commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III said Wednesday.
But Durante quickly clarified that no one among those infected with the new coronavirus disease is assigned as close-in security detail of President Rodrigo Duterte. He also said all infected PSG personnel are asymptomatic.
“Recently we have 126 cases but now may mga na-clear na sa quarantine so we are down to around 45 active cases,” he said in an interview over state-run People’s Television Network.
Some PSG members testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was the reason why the President’s public address will not push through tonight, April 7, according to Duterte’s long-time aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.
“As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our country, the Presidential Security Group is not spared from the virus as our personnel continues to perform our mandate during presidential engagements and routine security operations,” Durante said in a separate statement.
“At the least, our PSG personnel who got infected are not directly or closely detailed with the President and are all asymptomatic without experiencing any adverse symptoms. Hence, rest assured that the President is safe and in good health,” he added.
Durante assured that all health and safety protocols are strictly enforced to manage PSG’s COVID-19 situation.
“We have established protocols to contain the spread of the virus and we will continue to enforce it so that the President is kept safe and secured from all forms of threats at all times,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte’s regular public address is moved to next week.
The PSG had previously admitted to using unauthorized vaccines to inoculate some of their members as early as September 2020.
In February, the PSG was given a compassionate use license by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm.
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