By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said he is doing well despite being infected with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In his update to reporters after announcing that he was COVID-19 positive, Zubiri said he still feels “fine” and “lucky” that he has not been experiencing any symptoms.
“Today I feel fine. No fever, no body aches, no persistent coughs so I can consider myself lucky,” the Senate leader said.
Zubiri said he was most elated knowing that his wife had not contracted the disease.
“The happiest moment of my life is on the news that my wife Audrey, the love of my life and mother of my three small children, tested negative for the virus. Thank you God above for that,” he said.
“I’m happy that my family is now safe and will continue their self quarantine till this pandemic is over,” he added.
Zubiri on Monday night said he was informed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that he tested positive for COVID-19, days after they learned that a Senate resource person was a COVID-19 patient.
He is currently isolated from his family since last week.
Duque, on Tuesday, however, said he wanted Zubiri to undergo testing again to make sure that his case was not a “false positive.”
“Kung wala lang limitasyon sa testing capacity, gusto ko sana pasuri siya ulit, eh. Kasi hindi din naman talagang 100 percent, may mga nakakalusot din na false positive kahit paano. Gusto ko paulit ito (If only there are no limitations with our testing capacity, I would have wanted to have him tested again. Because it might not be 100 percent accurate, some test turns out to be false positives. That’s why I want the test repeated),” Duque told radio DZMM.
“In the meantime, quarantine na muna ng 10 araw pa (he should continue his quarantine for 10 more days). Importante wala syang sintomas (What’s important is that he has no symptoms),” he said of Zubiri.
Zubiri said he welcomes this “very much.”
“In my researches during this period of self-isolation I’ve read that there are similar patients that had my experience of being positive but asymptomatic and others that had mild symptoms only. Although just to be 100 percent sure, I’m very open to being tested again,” he said.
The senator dismissed claims linking his infection to his recent travel to Hong Kong. He said he and his wife were in Hong Kong in early January, “before the COVID-19 became [a] serious scare and there were still no travel bans at that time.”
“Suffice it to say that trip was two and a half months ago and has no bearing on my case,” he said.
He believes that he contracted the COVID-19 at the Senate because of their exposure to several visitors, as well as the recent Commission on Appointment hearings.
“I can only see the possibility being these last two weeks of work,” he said.
Read more: Sen. Zubiri tests positive for COVID-19