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Palace elated Duque COVID-19 negative

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is “glad” that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has tested negative for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duque will continue to work as the country’s health chief, but will still have to complete his two-week quarantine.

“We are glad to know about that. He will continue with his work as one of the front liners,” Panelo said in a message.

“He never stopped working even when he started his quarantine. As part of the medical protocol he will finish the 14-day quarantine,” he added.

Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire earlier announced that Duque had negative results for the coronavirus disease. She said Duque remains in good condition and asymptomatic.

The health secretary was tested for the disease after a director at the Department of Health (DOH) became infected. Duque, who has asthma and hypertension, went on home quarantine last Thursday while awaiting the results of tests conducted on him.

Duque, who has been supervising efforts to combat the spread of the disease, was the latest Cabinet member to be declared coronavirus-free.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Domingue III, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, and Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier tested negative for the coronavirus disease.

Malacañang recently said President Duterte remains “fit and healthy,” and has not shown any symptoms of the new coronavirus disease. He took the test and obtained negative results after Cabinet officials went on quarantine due to exposure to a coronavirus case.

The Presidential Security Group (PSG) has implemented strict social distancing measures, including a no-touch policy on the President, to help ensure his safety and health.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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