DOH Secretary Duque tests negative for coronavirus

Rambo Talabong
DOH Secretary Duque tests negative for coronavirus


Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III remains in self-quarantine

MANILA, Philippines – After being exposed to a senior health official who had the coronavirus, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview on Sunday, March 22, with DZBB radio that Duque tested negative as of Saturday night.

His exposure: The Philippines’ top health official said that he was in close contact with the COVID-19-positive official for “about 3 times.” Vergeire said that Duque was in stable condition.

“I have no fever, so I’m pretty okay. It’s just that of course I’m watching over my hypertension and asthma,” Duque told Rappler in an earlier interview.

His quarantine: Being a person under monitoring (PUM), Duque is still on self-quarantine. He began his self-isolation on Wednesday, March 18.

Vergeire said that Duque did not show any symptoms and continued to work from his home as cases continued to rise in the country. – with a report from Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com


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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.