4 Cabinet officials test negative for coronavirus

MANILA, Philippines – At least 4 Cabinet officials tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

In a statement on Sunday, March 15, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is among those who tested negative for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"Similarly, the Palace is pleased to hear that the results of the COVID-19 tests undergone by Secretaries Carlos Dominguez III, Arthur Tugade, and Mark Villar are negative," added Panelo.

Dominguez is finance secretary, Tugade is transportation secretary, and Villar is public works secretary.

They were among the government officials who opted to go into self-quarantine after exposure to a person who later tested positive for COVID-19.

However, the 4 will continue their 14-day self-quarantine as a precautionary measure, in line with protocols set by health authorities. 

Dominguez and Tugade confirmed their plans to go into self-quarantine last Wednesday, March 11, while Medialdea and Villar started last Thursday, March 12.

As of Saturday, March 14, the number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines stood at 111, with 8 confirmed deaths. At least 914 patients, meanwhile, have been probed, of which 153 are still admitted in hospitals. – Rappler.com