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MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary William Dar is the latest Cabinet member to test positive for COVID-19, which the Cabinet official announced in his social media account.
“I wish to inform the public that I tested positive for COVID with mild symptoms, and currently recovering while in quarantine. I will continue to discharge my duties and responsibilities in the Department of Agriculture,” Dar said in a Twitter post on Friday, January 7.
Dar said in a tweet on Saturday morning, January 8, that he was “getting better” and urged those who have not received their COVID-19 jabs to get vaccinated, as “Omicron is no joke.”
Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera also confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19.
“I am currently experiencing mild symptoms,” De Vera said in a Facebook post.
He said he got his COVID-19 booster shot on January 3.
The Senate is also experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting Senate President Vicente Sotto III to approve the recommendation for a “total closure” of the Senate from January 10 to 16.
“So nobody can enter the Senate premises except those that will do the disinfection on January 8 and 15,” he said.
Sotto said in a message to reporters that based on the Senate Medical Team’s report, there are 46 active COVID-19 cases among Senate employees as of Friday, while 175 employees have been quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 cases. The quarantined employees have also shown COVID-19 symptoms and awaited their swab test results.
In Cavite, a town mayor and a vice mayor tested positive for COVID-19: General Mariano Alvarez Mayor Maricel Torres, and General Trias Vice Mayor Maurito Sison. They announced this in their respected social media accounts.
Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said on Thursday that 50 of his staff at the governor’s office had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Our high vaccination rate in the province is a big thing, most of the cases are mild symptoms, the surge will take five weeks before subsiding,” Remulla said in a Facebook post on Thursday, January 6.
“We cannot afford another lockdown, many will be affected, so please take responsibility for yourself and for your loved ones,” he added. – With reports from Dennis Abrina/Rappler