By Martin Sadongdong
The young Philippine Army soldier who succumbed to a respiratory illness has tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The results of 2nd Lieutenant Vince Magbanua’s COVID-19 test at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) was shared with the media by Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, almost a week after his death.
“We wish to announce that the late Army 2LT Vince Magbanua’s test for COVID-19 infection yielded (a) negative [result] per RITM test,” Arevalo told reporters late Tuesday.
Magbanua, 24, died last Wednesday, April 8, after experiencing severe difficulty in breathing. He was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician at the Norzagaray Municipal Hospital in Bulacan.
A day before his death, he was admitted to the hospital. He was diagnosed with acute bronchitis but was advised by the doctors to return to barracks to undergo self-quarantine.
On April 10, the cremated remains of Magbanua was brought back to his hometown in Davao City where he was honored by fellow soldiers.
Magbanua hailed from Davao City and was a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Alab Tala” Class of 2018.
He was assigned as the platoon leader and executive officer of the Weapons Company, Headquarters Service Battalion of the 48th Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division based in Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan.
On his social media accounts, Magbanua heaped praises and tributes from his relatives, friends and fellow Army troopers. Others offered message of condolences for his bereaved family.
According to Arevalo, Magbanua “was looked up to by his superiors, peers and subordinates for his dedication, commitment, and idealism.”