Duterte family members get tested for COVID-19

Published March 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling
As the government battles the spread of the coronavirus, some members of President Duterte’s family have taken the medical test for the new coronavirus disease.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
According to Sen. Christopher Go, samples were taken from the President’s partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña and children Paolo, Sebastian, and Veronica in Davao City for coronavirus testing.
However, the swab samples taken from the President’s family members have not yet been brought to Manila for the COVID-19 test, Go added.
The President earlier tested negative for the coronavirus as several Cabinet members went on self-quarantine due to exposure to a coronavirus case. The medical tests on these officials also yielded negative results.
More coronavirus test kits
The government is expected to boost its supply of testing kits following the approval of fund allocations as well as donations from some countries.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Cabinet economic cluster has approved the release of P240 million for the acquisition of additional coronavirus test kits. Donations will also come from South Korea and China, he said.
“Palagay ko magiging sapat kasi unang-una, mayroon din tayong pondo na 240 million na inaprubahan ng Economic Development Cluster last week at P6,000 per test, that’s 40,000 is the target testing capacity (I think it will be efficient because first, we have a P240 million fund approved by the economic development cluster last week at P6,000 per test. That’s 40,000 is the target testing capacity),” he said.
“So that will require a budget of P240 million. That’s of course on top of the donations coming from South Korea and China. So mapaparami na po ang ating kakayahan, mapapalaki ang kakayahang makapanuri ng throat and nose swabs ng mga persons or patients under investigation (so we will have more supply, capacity to test the throat and nose swabs of persons or patients under investigation),” he said.
At present, Duque said only patients showing symptoms of the disease can undertake the coronavirus test.
“Sa ngayon dahil nga mayroon tayong limitasyon pa, iyon lang muna ang priority natin. Kinakailangan kasi ma-rationalize natin iyong testing in the face of limitations (For now, because we have a limitation, that’s our priority. We must rationalize the testing in the face of limitations),” he said.
The President has declared a state of public health emergency in the country following the surge of coronavirus infections. Recently, he placed Luzon on enhanced community quarantine that requires strict home quarantine for residents to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the country reported 187 cases of coronavirus disease.
 
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