Gov't officials test negative for COVID-19

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(From L-R) Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — Several Cabinet members and other government officials said Sunday that they tested negative for the novel coronavirus after coming in contact with someone confirmed to have the disease, known as COVID-19.

The Cabinet officials came in contact with a person who eventually tested positive for the disease last week, prompting them to go on a 14-day self-quarantine. CNN Philippines earlier reported that a transport official is one of the country’s confirmed coronavirus patients.

The following public officials tested negative for COVID-19:

Executive

-Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade

-Public Works Secretary Mark Villar

-Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III

-Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea

-Presidential Security Group head Colonel Jesus Durante III

-Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno

Legislative

-Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

-Senator Nancy Binay

Judiciary

-Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta

Local executives

-Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso

The reports came a day after Malacañang announced that President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as his former aide now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, were also cleared of COVID-19.

Moreno went on isolation after returning from his trip to the United Kingdom.

Other public officials opted to go on a voluntary two-week quarantine after attending a large event which included an attendee who eventually tested positive for COVID-19. Among them are Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, as well as Navotas City Rep. John Rey Tiangco and his brother Mayor Toby Tiangco.

LIST: Lawmakers, gov't officials on self-quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

Separately, 12 senators also went into isolation upon learning that one of the resource people invited to a committee hearing chaired by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian became a COVID-19 patient. The man’s wife reportedly died of the disease.

The disease is spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth when people infected with the virus cough or sneeze. Commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Those with severe and critical symptoms should call the Health Department at (02) 8-651-7800 local 1149-1150.