By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Col. Jesus Durante III have both tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a text message on Sunday, Medialdea confirmed that his test results came out negative but said he will continue to be under self-quarantine.
“Yes. It’s negative po,” he said. “Have to pursue self-quarantine.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo likewise said both Durante and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also do not have the disease.
“We are glad to know that the two (Durante and Tugade) are healthy and were tested negative for COVID-19,” he said. “They will continue to perform their respective duties in the service of the Filipino people.”
Panelo reported that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar also tested negative for the disease.
“They will also take precautionary measures in accordance with the protocols set by the DOH, while working pursuant to the respective mandates of their office,” he said in another statement.
President Duterte himself underwent testing for the COVID-19 Thursday prior his announcement placing Metro Manila under community quarantine for 30 days.
On Friday, Panelo confirmed that Duterte’s results came out negative, adding that there was no stopping Duterte now from leading the country’s efforts against the outbreak.
“This means that there is no stopping the Chief Executive from performing his primary constitutional duty of serving and protecting the people, especially at this perilous time when our country is faced with a deathly disease that threatens the very lives of our countrymen,” he said.
“PRRD will continue to work with his usual passion and dedication for the nation. He will observe pre-emptive measures to secure his health as he steers the government in arresting the spread of the contagion.”