MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Security Group (PSG) on Thursday announced that all foreign travels of President Rodrigo Duterte is suspended “for now” in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The PSG said the decision to suspend Duterte’s foreign trips, especially to countries with confirmed coronavirus cases, follows the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH).
The announcement comes after Malacañang bared that the president will undergo testing for coronavirus after exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual in an event last week. Several members of his Cabinet and some lawmakers also decided to go on self-quarantine.
In photos released to media, Duterte is seen being tested for coronavirus inside the Malacañang complex with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, his former longtime aide.
Go said he and the chief executive were tested around 5 p.m. Thursday by a medical staff from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Results of the test will be out in 48 hours, according to Go.
The senator earlier said they will undergo testing to ensure that they are fit and healthy to engage the public and perform duties in the coming days and weeks. He also said they are not showing any symptom of the virus.
The Philippines has so far recorded 52 confirmed infections with two fatalities. Two have recovered and have been discharged while 48 remain admitted at various hospitals in the country.
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reminds the public to heed government protocols for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis even after community quarantine has been relaxed.
On May 16, Metro Manila shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from enhanced community quarantine to help revive the Philippines’ crippled economy.
But President Duterte stressed that such relaxation in restrictions doesn’t mean the country is free of COVID-19 and warned that the government might again tighten restrictions if situations get worse.
“Remember this, the loosening of the restrictions does not mean [we’re COVID-free],” he said.
“If the contamination will be as fast as before, and it will continue to infect yung nakalabas na (people who are allowed to go out), then we’ll have to just go back to original program,” he added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied allegations that the government is not ready or has no policy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass testing.
Roque stressed that the government in fact is now preparing to hit the target of 30,000 a day testing capacity by the end of May.
“From the very beginning, we have had a systematic targeted testing at sa tingin po natin ang sinusunod natin ay benchmark recognized internationally specifically by the WHO,” the Palace Spokesperson said in defense against against critics who are questioning the government’s advice of letting private companies shoulder COVID-19 testing for their respective workers who are returning to work.
Roque added that the government is targeting to test around 1.5% to 2% of the more than 100 million Filipinos for COVID-19 infection and clarified on what is referred to as ‘mass testing.’
“Ang tawag po dapat ay expanded targeted testing,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Davao City on Friday (May 15) to visit his family.
The President opted to stay in Metro Manila in the past two months to focus on his work amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and due to tight restrictions under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Aside from family visit, the President intended to check on the situation in Mindanao relative to the health crisis.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is now in Davao City to visit his family whom he has not seen in months and to assess the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Mindanao,” Roque said.
The Palace spokesman assured, however, that the President will be present in the scheduled meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Tuesday (May 19).
“Rest assured that he will be back in Malacañang in time for the next IATF briefing,’ Roque concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.