Four lawmakers from the House of Representatives have announced they will undergo self-quarantine as a precautionary measure after their colleague, ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap, tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a statement, both Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and Minority Leader Benny Abante Jr. said they will subject themselves under quarantine after they both attended the House's special session last Monday wherein Yap was also present.
Romualdez said he had no close contact with Yap during the special session and he has not developed any symptoms of COVID-19 but he said "most responsible thing for me to do at this moment is to undergo self-quarantine."
"I'm in the pink of health and well enough to continue performing my duties as House Majority Leader and will activate my work-from-home system," he said, adding that he also directed his staff to undergo self-quarantine.
Abante made a similar remark.
"While I had no personal contact with Rep. Yap and I currently feel healthy and have not developed any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, as a precaution I will be going into self-quarantine together with members of my family to avoid potentially infecting others," he said.
Meanwhile, House Committee on Transportation chair Edgar Mary Yap said that while he is under self-quarantine as he was in close contact with individuals who turned out positive for COVID-19, he has not taken the diagnostic test for COVID-19.
"Although I feel weak, but asymptomatic as of the moment. I do not fit the Department of Health’s criteria for testing since we have limited resources rather I have to give way to symptomatic cases and in dire need of the test," he said.
"The proper and responsible action to take is to practice self-quarantine for at least 14 days to ensure that I have not been infected. I am doing it for 21 days, the seven additional days would be an allowance to guarantee that I am indeed virus-free," he added.
Isabela Representative Tonypet Albano, on the other hand, said he will go into "serious self isolation" again for 14 days after he attended the House special session on Monday with Yap.
"Cong. Eric and I worked closely together to fix and amend this bill with everyone else. I practiced social distancing with everyone there, but I had my mask off at times when we were all eating and working," Albano said.
"My asthma can’t have the mask on for more than 10 mins. So I take it off and stay away from my colleagues at around one to two meters away. I hope that was enough in an airconditioned congress hall and dining area," he added.
Yap earlier apologized and asked for understanding from the individuals he came in came in contact with.
"Mas nag-ingat tayo dahil wala pang resulta ang test ko. Those who know me personally know that I practice good personal hygiene. But it didn’t spare me from this virus," he said.
"Wala pong kinikilalang pulitika, kapangyarihan, o kayamanan ang sakit na ito. Pantay pantay po tayong lahat. Kung gusto nating sugpuin ang pagkalat ng virus, kinakailangan na magkaisa tayo. Sama sama, kaya natin ito," he added. — RSJ, GMA News