Chief Justice Peralta tests negative for coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta tested negative for the novel coronavirus, the Supreme Court said on Friday, March 20.
"He tested negative of COVID-19 after traveling to the Netherlands early this month and later on showing symptoms of the disease," the Supreme Court (SC) said in a statement on Friday.
Peralta was on an official business trip to The Hague from March 1 to 7.
As of March 19, 2020, the Netherlands has 2,051 cases of coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The SC said Peralta didn't immediately show symptoms.
"However, when Chief Justice Peralta showed symptoms such as persistent coughing, he then went on self quarantine in his residence, and was advised by doctors to be tested for the COVID-19 considering also the fact that he traveled to a COVID infected country as per the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH)," said the SC.
SC Spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said Peralta got tested on March 17. (READ: When should you get tested for coronavirus?)
"Chief Justice Peralta made this statement as he reassured the officials and employees of the Judiciary, as well as the general public, that he is continuing his work from home and that he is closely monitoring the situation of the courts throughout the country," the SC said.
With limited test kits, the Department of Health (DOH) said it would only test for now a specific group of persons under investigation (PUI).
PUIs are individuals who have two or all of the following:
- History of travel in the past 14 days to countries with local transmission and risk of importation of the virus
- History of exposure with a confirmed case
- Has symptoms of respiratory illness (cough and/or colds) and/or fever
The DOH said a PUI will only be tested if the person is experiencing severe manifestations of symptoms.
But elderly who manifest coronavirus symptoms, whether mild or severe, and those who have underlying medical conditions, will automatically get tested for possible infection.
Peralta is 67 years old.
Peralta on Friday ordered the physical closure of all courts nationwide, but he said judges and staff will be required to answer calls and queries, and if the matter is deemed urgent, they will have to go to court and act on it. – Rappler.com