Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte ends quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 case

Dwight de Leon

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Duterte ends quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 case

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacau00f1an Palace on January 6, 2022.

Robinson Ninal/Presidential Photo

The Palace says Duterte's last date of exposure to a virus-positive individual was January 28, which meant his quarantine ended on February 3

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte completed his isolation period after he was exposed to a household staff that tested positive for COVID-19.

Malacañang previously said Duterte has tested negative twice for coronavirus following the exposure.

In a press briefing on Friday, February 4, Duterte’s acting spokesman Karlo Nograles corrected his earlier pronouncement that Duterte’s “last day of exposure” to his infected staff was on Sunday, January 30. 

He noted that another household staff was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 on January 28, and the personnel had close contact to Duterte.

“January 28 should be considered the President’s last date of exposure to a positive COVID-19 case,” Nograles said in Filipino. “Even though a member of the household staff tested positive for COVID-19 on January 30, the physician assessed it cannot be considered that the President had exposure since he was not a close contact.”

Nograles added that Duterte’s quarantine “could be discontinued” on Thursday, February 3.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, who was present during the press briefing, confirmed that Duterte was in compliance with quarantine protocols for asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts.

The President is in Malacañang, and his next “Talk to the People” meeting is slated “presumably” on February 7, Nograles added.

“He is as healthy as any healthy individual at his age would be,” Nograles said.

The Palace previously confirmed that Duterte had recently undergone “routine medical check-up” at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, but did not specify when.

At 76, the country’s leader is vulnerable to COVID-19 symptoms. He has disclosed some of his medical issues in the past, even reporting in 2018 that his doctors found a growth in his stomach area, but later said he was cancer-free.

The Palace had said Duterte has been administered at an unspecified date with a COVID-19 booster shot from Sinopharm. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.