Senator Pimentel tests positive for COVID-19, becomes 2nd Filipino lawmaker to contract virus

Photo: ABS-CBN News
Photo: ABS-CBN News

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III announced today that he has tested positive for COVID-19, a week after his colleague Juan Miguel Zubiri announced that he too had contracted the disease.

In a statement sent to The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pimentel said, “I was informed late last night March 24, 2020 that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The swab was taken last Friday, March 20, 2020.”

Pimentel said he has already quarantined himself, as ordered by his doctor, and asked the public to pray for him and his family, CNN Philippines reports.

“Since the last day of session March 11, 2020 I had already tried my best to limit my movement. I will call (to the best of my ability) those I remember meeting during those crucial days so that I can inform them of my test result,” he added.

He said that he is optimistic that he will recover from the disease.

The public has called out politicians for getting tested for COVID-19, alleging that they are being prioritized over patients and health workers, some of whom have even died while waiting for results of their tests. The Department of Health (DOH) has said there is no such thing as “VIP testing,” but acknowledged that “courtesy” was being given to officials holding “positions of national security and public health.”

Meanwhile, the DOH has rejected public calls to conduct mass testing, saying they do not have enough resources to do so.

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