A Senate employee who contracted the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) died on Thursday, July 16.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III confirmed that a male employee from the Senate’s budget service department who tested positive for COVID-19 passed away.
“Yes, I just found out now. Gumaling na yun pero bumigay daw kanina. (He reportedly recovered but he died a while ago)…We don’t know why he died today,” Sotto said in separate text messages to reporters on Thursday night.
Senate Secretary Myra Villarica said the employee died in the afternoon.
“He was positive for COVID-19. He seemed to be getting better until his oxygen saturation level dropped today,” she said in another message.
While refusing to conclude that the death was due to the coronavirus, Villarica said the employee was identified as a “critical COVID patient” and was hospitalized for the disease.
As of July 9, at least 20 cases of COVID-19 infection were recorded among Senate members, employees and staff members. Three senators have recovered from the disease.
A consultant of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. died last March due to the virus.
Last July 1, a member of the Senate’s Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms succumbed to pneumonia. He was also tested for COVID-19, but the result has yet to be released when he died.