Briones tests negative for COVID-19; Zubiri recovers

Published April 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jel Santos and Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Days after announcing that she has coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday said that she has tested negative for the disease.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones  and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri (MANILA BULLETIN)
Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri (MANILA BULLETIN)

On April 9, the 79-year-old secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) revealed that she had contracted COVID-19 but was asymptomatic.

Briones said she was tested again on April 2 upon learning that a government official she was with during a meeting has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Good news! Early this morning, nag-text si Secretary Duque, na ang test ko ay negative (Good news! Early this morning, Health Secretary Duque texted me, and said that I tested negative for COVID-19),” she said during a television interview.

According to Briones, she sought the advise of Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Ano who had already recovered from the dreaded disease.

Briones said Ano recommended to her the traditional ways of healing to boost her immune system.

“Sa original statement ko, sinabi ko na ang COVID-19 ay hindi death sentence. I asked Sec. Ano what is his formula, and he recommended to me our traditional ways (In my original statement, I said that COVID-19 is not a death sentence. I asked Sec. Ano what is his formula, he recommended to me our traditional ways),” she said.

“Traditional ways of healing para ma-cure or strengthen ang katawan to resist the virus (It is really traditional ways to cure or strengthen the body in order for it to resist the virus).”

Briones said that she practiced that traditional ways such as gargling warm water with salt, drinking salabat or ginger tea, and eating a balanced diet as suggested by Ano and her relatives.

The DepEd secretary said that she is not putting her guard down despite testing negative for COVID-19, saying she remains very careful until now.

“I am still being careful. This does not mean we will be careless. It does not mean that we will relax, or go outside because we already tested negative,” she said.


Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has recovered from the illness.

Zubiri on Sunday announced that he tested negative for COVID-19 in his second test conducted by the Makati City Health Office.

“Today (April 12), we celebrate Easter Sunday as the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As a day of thanksgiving, I would also like to thank God and our Lord for a second chance in my life by healing me from COVID-19,” he said.

He thanked Dr. Paz Corrales of the Department of Health and a certain “Ma’am Wheng” of the Makati City Health Office for taking care of him.

Zubiri was the first senator who dis – closed last March 16 that he tested positive for the disease.

To be considered “recovered,” the Department of Health said that a COVID-19 patient has to test negative in the confir – matory test after isolation, then undergo another round of two-week quarantine and yield a negative result in the second test.

Aside from Zubiri, Sen. Sonny Angara has been declared COVID-19 free