By Genalyn Kabiling
Despite showing no symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), President Duterte took the medical test for the virus Thursday and will know the results in two days.
The President’s medical test was administered by personnel from the Research Institute for Topical Medicine (RITM) at the President’s residence at Bahay ng Pagbabago in Manila, according to Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go.
Go, the President’s former assistant, also had himself tested for the coronavirus.
In photos shared by the senator, the RITM staff brought a medical testing kit and administered the test to the President on the residential patio. RITM director Celia Carlos was present at the testing.
Go said the results of their coronavirus tests will be known in 48 hours.
Earlier, Malacañang announced that the President decided to undergo the test to make sure he remains fit and health to perform his duty. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President does not have the symptoms of the virus but has been advised by health officials to take the medical test as a pre-emptive step.
“They are undertaking this pre-emptive step as per advice of health officials given that they have regularly engaged with Cabinet officials, some of whom have opted to undergo self-quarantine as they were exposed to those infected with COVID-19,” Panelo said.
He gave the assurance that the results of the President’s medical tests will be disclosed to the public.
Urgent measures vs. coronavirus
In the wake of the soaring number of cases of COVID-19 in the country, President Duterte is expected to issue a decision on the proposed set of urgent measures to contain the outbreak of the deadly virus.
A government task force has approved a resolution on these anti-coronavirus measures and will submit the document to the President for his action, Panelo said.
Duterte is expected to deliver a public address Thursday night to announce his decision.
“The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases convened this morning, March 12, and its members came into an agreement to adopt a resolution containing the implementation of measures intended to contain the spread of the coronavirus, as proposed by a technical advisory group led by Dr. Edsel Salvana, which will be submitted to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte later today,” Panelo said in a statement.
“The contents of the resolution will be announced to the public following the approval by the President,” he added.
Salvana is the director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines-Manila National Institutes of Health.