Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced on Saturday, April 10, that he has been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment.
This is the second time that Roque got infected with the coronavirus in less than a month.
"I am now admitted in a hospital for COVID treatment. This is to say that COVID-19 is more transmissible now so we have to do extra precaution," Roque said in a statement sent to reporters.
"I will announce the risk classification of the 'National Capital Region Plus Bubble' which will be discussed in the IATF meeting today. I am asking for your sincerest prayers to all afflicted with COVID-19 in the country and around the world. God bless and protect us all," he added.
The Palace official first tested positive for the coronavirus on March 15, and was asymptomatic. He announced that he tested negative for COVID-19 on March 25.
Days before his lateast announcement, Roque held a press conference in the New Executive Building inside the Malacañang complex on Tuesday, April 6. Joining him in that location was testing czar Vince Dizon. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr was present virtually.
Roque's second positive test result comes just days after another Cabinet official, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. At roughly the same time, Duterte’s weekly pandemic public address that week was cancelled due to rising COVID-19 infections among Palace guards.
Presidential Security Group commander Brigadier General Jesus Durante II had said 45 of his personnel are active cases.
Meanwhile, Duterte’s last swab test was on April 8. The test showed he was negative for COVID-19 then, according to his former longtime aide Senator Bong Go.
The last time Duterte was seen in a public official event was on March 29 when he held his weekly “Talk to the People” public address. Earlier that day, he had also welcomed the arrival of a shipment of Sinovac vaccines.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.