A resource person who attended a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture has tested positive for COVID-19, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has said.
In a statement, Gatchalian said he would go into self-quarantine as he personally interacted with the confirmed COVID-19 case during the hearing.
"I have recently been informed that a resource person who attended the hearing of the Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture last March 5, 2020, which I Chair, has tested positive for COVID-19," Gatchalian said.
"Though I am asymptomatic and feel healthy, I will follow government set protocols on such cases and go into self-quarantine immediately given that I interacted with the said individual during that committee hearing," he added.
Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday said she will undergo self-quarantine as a precaution against the coronavirus disease 2019 after being exposed to a confirmed case in a Senate hearing.
Binay's decision came after Senator Gatchalian's announcement "to take similar precautions and self-monitor for the next 14 days."
Gatchalian and Binay advised members of their staff to do the same "especially those who had direct contact with the said person too."
Gatchalian on Monday urged the Department of Education to postpone the scheduled graduation rites this month as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"I strongly urge the Deped to suspend the graduation in high school and moving up activities in junior high school and also daycare graduation," Gatchalian said in a chance interview.
He added that an estimated three million senior high school students are expected to graduate this school year.
"Alam naman natin pag graduation 'yung mga magulang from abroad bumabalik talaga for that graduation... We're minimizing movement," he added.
Senator Binay said, "This is a serious public health matter and I enjoin everyone who came in contact with me in the past week to take the same precautions and observe all the basic hygienic processes."
"Let us continue to pray for the containment of the corona virus--prayer will always be our first line of defense."
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, including those considered as locally transmitted, rose to 20 on Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte has already declared a state of public health emergency. —NB/BAP, GMA News