Two more House of Representatives employees reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing to 16 the total number of officials and employees in the chamber to have contracted the dreaded viral infection.
“We recorded two more confirmed cases,” House Secretary General Jose Luis G. Montales communicated via viber message to the members of the Lower House community, going on to call for prayers for the speedy recovery of the patients as for the well-being of their families.
Montales disclosed one of those who tested positive from the virus is a congressional staff who last reported for work on July 2.
“He went briefly to their office on July 6. On both occasions, he interacted only with his principal and co-staff members,” Montales said.
The other COVID 19 victim is a member of the House security staff who has been suffering from renal issues. He last reported for work March 12.
Many congressional offices are closed or are manned by a skeleton force as a result of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the chamber with at least six new infections reported this month alone.
Despite the COVID 19 threat and the current adjournment, various House committees continue to hold legislative deliberations and hearings, mostly on bills aimed at addressing the economic and social impact of the pandemic.
The Lower House is also preparing to host the president’s State of the Nation Address which is expected to be conducted via virtual conferencing on July 27.
The COVID-19 situation in the chamber has resulted in the death of two employees, including a 65-year-old congressional staff and a member of the printing office who died in March.
The chamber has yet to release an update of the health condition of the remaining COVID-19 patients.