COVID-19 continues to infect Lower House; 12th case reported

Published July 6, 2020, 9:05 PM

by Ben Rosario

A contractual employee apparently exposed to a co-worker at the Internal Audit Department of the House of Representatives is the 12th coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case at the Lower Houses.

“We reported last July 1 that an employee assigned to the Internal Audit Department tested positive for COVID-19. One of those exposed to her, a contractual personnel in their Department, also tested positive today,” House Secretary General Jose Luis G. Montales announced Monday.

Montales, who said the Internal Audit Department has been closed since July 2, said the latest infected patient is asymptomatic.

On Sunday, Montales reported the 11th COVID-19 case in the House.

“It is with sadness that we announce that an employee assigned at the Committee on Justice tested positive for COVID-19 today,” the House official said in a text message Sunday.

Notwithstanding the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the Lower House continues to conduct virtual legislative hearings with some congressmen and personnel physically present at the Batasan offices.

Just today, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises and Committee on Good Government conducted a joint hearing on the ABS-CBN legislative franchise application.

The House leadership has ordered the strict observance of safety protocols.

“We remind everyone to be extra cautious. With the lifting of restrictions on the movement of people and the opening of the economy, we are exposed to higher risk when we go outside of our homes,” Montales said.

Of the 12 infected personnel, two succumbed to the disease last March.

Among those found positive of COVID-19 was Bulacan Rep. Henry Villarica.