Presidential spokesman Harry Roque considers himself a coronavirus survivor after getting hospital treatment.
Roque announced Thursday that he would be discharged from the hospital and thanked his doctors and nurses for their assistance.
But before moving out of the hospital, the Palace official sought to dispel speculations about supposedly getting special treatment at the hospital.
According to Roque, it took four days before he was admitted to the government hospital. He was also staying at an “ordinary” hospital room, contrary to speculations he used a room reserved for the President.
“Hindi po, nasa ordinaryong room po ako (No, I am in an ordinary room,” Roque said during an online press briefing from his hospital room Thursday, April 15. “It took four days before I could actually enter,” he added.
When he started to show coronavirus symptoms last week, Roque informed his doctors at PGH about his health condition.
“It was only when my oxygen level went down to 90 that I was asked to come in. So, apat na raw din po silang nabigyan ng timbre na baka ako po ay pumasok (So they were given four-day notice that I might be admitted),” he added.
Roque, a former University of the Philippines law professor, earlier highlighted his deep ties with PGH and its doctors after he was hounded by questions on how fast he got a hospital bed while many patients had to wait in long lines.
Roque announced on April 10 that he was admitted in a hospital for coronavirus treatment.
In the same press briefing Thursday, Roque admitted that he was unaware if he got reinfected with the coronavirus. But he said he had a “serious” case of infection. His close contacts so far got negative test results for COVID-19.
“What I know is I was admitted with the serious case of COVID and all those that I have had close contacts with were informed at lahat naman po sila nakapag-test at harinawa negatibo naman po (and all of them tested negative),” he said.
The Palace official meantime expressed gratitude to the PGH medical staff for extending COVID-19 treatment.
“Dahil ako po ay idi-discharge na after six days dito po sa PGH, papasalamatan ko lang po unang-una si Dr. Gap Legaspi, ang director ng PGH. Ang aking mga doktor (Because I will be discharged after six days at PGH, I’d like to thank first Dr. Gap Legaspi, the director of PGH, and my doctors),” he said.
“Maraming salamat po sa mga nagdasal para sa atin at para sa lahat po ng nagka-COVID. At sa ngalan po ng ating Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte, ito po ang inyong Spox Harry Roque, isang COVID survivor nagsasabing kakayanin po natin lahat itong COVID-19 (Thank you for those who prayed for us and others who have COVID. On behalf of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, this is your Spox Harry Roque, a COVID survivor saying we will overcome COVID-19),” he added.
Roque first confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 15 and went into isolation despite showing no symptoms. After 10 days, Roque’s test results came back negative, allowing him to physically return to work at the Palace.
But when he showed COVID-19 symptoms several days later, Roque announced last Saturday that he was confined in a hospital for coronavirus treatment.
Roque earlier said it was “unchristian” to ask him how fast he got a hospital room last weekend. He later opened up and shared some details about his confinement.