2 more House employees test positive for COVID-19

Published August 12, 2020, 6:54 PM

by Ben Rosario

Two more employees of the House of Representatives have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of cases to 40.

An employee of the Committee on Rules had herself tested for the disease after experiencing symptoms such as “loss of sense of smell and decreased sense of taste.”

She reported for work from July 20 to August 5.

The second case involved a member of the Ground Maintenance Group.  The patient, who is asymptomatic, reported for work from July 20 to 30.

Of the 40 employees and officials who became infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus, four have died.

Senior Citizens Partylist Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. was the fourth victim to succumb to the deadly disease.

Datol, 71,  was among the five congressmen who fell sick of the dreaded disease. The others were Deputy Speakers Johnny Pimentel and Mujiv Hataman, and Reps. Samier Tan and Henry Villarica.

The soaring number of COVID cases in the Lower House has prompted the chamber’s leadership to suspend the plenary sessions scheduled on August 12 and 17.

However, committee hearings, conducted via zoom conference and other internet meeting systems, were allowed to continue.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Public Accounts occupied the plenary hall for the resumption of its inquiry into reported Philhealth fund irregularities.