The number of COVID-19 positive cases in the House of Representatives rose to 28 after two more employees, this time from the Office of the Speaker, were confirmed to have caught infection.
House Secretary General Jose Luis Montales said both employees reported for work on July 16 and were tested on July 25 “after experiencing some symptoms.”
Also on July 25, the House started conducting swab tests on officials and personnel who were to attend the State-of-the-Nation Address on July 27 at the House plenary hall.
House Deputy Speaker Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel and a member of the House security staff tested positive in an RT-PCR test and no longer attended the SONA.
Similar tests given to Pimentel’s unnamed driver and two maintenance personnel on July 25 and were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19.
The 28 victims of COVID-19 in the House include three employees who succumbed to the disease and three congressmen.
Aside from Pimentel, Reps. Samier Tan of Sulu and Henry Villarica of Bulacan were treated for the disease.
“We reiterate that we shouldn’t let our guard down. We now face higher risk because the virus has spread in homes, workplaces, and communities. Please be extra cautious,” said Montales.