Indonesia

Gatchalian, Binay test negative for coronavirus

Aika Rey
Gatchalian, Binay test negative for coronavirus

ALBERT CALVELO/SENATE PRIB

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says he would ask Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri to get tested again in case his initial test result is a 'false positive'

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Senator Nancy Binay tested negative for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Tuesday, March 17.

“Lumabas naman ang test results nila Senators Nancy at Gatchlian, negative (The results of coronavirus testing for senators Nancy and Gatchalian turned out negative),”  Duque said in a DZMM interview. 

The two senators went on self-isolation, after an exposure to a COVID-19 patient at a Senate hearing on March 5.

In a statement, Gatchalian said that he would end his self-quarantine.

“Having surpassed this, rest assured that my office will continue to function pursuant to the guidelines and protocols set on an enhanced community quarantine,” he said.

Binay said she would continue to isolate herself until the end of her 14-day quarantine or until the end of this week.

“Hindi pa po tapos ang laban natin kontra sa COVID-19, and we don’t want to have a false sense of security. Kung kaya hinihikayat pa rin natin ang lahat na huwag na munang lumabas sa kanilang mga bahay, magpractice ng social distancing, at ugaliing maghugas ng kamay for 20 seconds,” Binay said.

(Our fight against COVID-19 is not yet over, and we don’t want to have a false sense of security. This is why we continue to urge everyone not to go out of their homes, practice social distancing, and wash their hands for 20 seconds.)

Since the two senators have tested negative, Duque floated that Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri’s case may be a “false positive.”

“Meron ding kasi kahit papanong nakakalusot na false positive (There are some who turn out to be false positive),” Duque said. 

Duque said he would ask Zubiri to get tested again.

Zubiri, who said he did not exhibit symptoms of the disease, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, March 16.  Zubiri had voluntarily isolated himself, after learning that Gatchalian and Binay were at the hearing where one of the guests tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Zubiri is the first high-ranking Philippine official to contract the virus. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.