Malaya, other DILG officials now on quarantine after exposure to Año

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 1) —Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya and other senior officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government are now under self-quarantine after Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

"Senior officials of the Department who were in close contact with the Secretary, including myself, are now in self-quarantine and will observe symptoms in accordance with DOH (Department of Health) protocols," Malaya said in a statement Wednesday.

He added that Año, who revealed the results Tuesday, is still fully in charge of the operations of the DILG as the national government continues to address the rising coronavirus cases in the country under the third week of implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.

The DILG chief has been on home quarantine since March 26, and is currently "doing fine" with no symptoms of the disease, Malaya said.

"The Secretary has constant access to the President, the senior officials of the Department, and is in constant communication with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the National Task Force on COVID-19, the DILG Emergency Operations Center, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, and the PNP Command Center," Malaya said.

"The Secretary will harness the newest technology to communicate, give instructions, and will get the job done," he added.

Año, who serves as the vice chair of the National Task Force overseeing the containment measures against COVID-19, is the first Cabinet member to contract the virus.

The DILG chief got tested on March 27, with the results coming out four days later.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Thursday that it is up to all IATF officials whether they want to get tested depending on their health status, after Año's infection was confirmed.

The Philippines currently has 2,084 COVID-19 cases, with 88 fatalities, and 49 recoveries.