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Philippine isolation czar Mark Villar tests positive for COVID-19

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, who was recently announced as the government's isolation czar for the coronavirus pandemic, has tested positive for the disease.

Villar made the announcement through social media two days after he was announced to take charge of isolation efforts.

"I regret to announce that today, July 15, I received my test result and it is positive for COVID-19," he said.


Villar was introduced as one of the country’s “anti-COVID-19 czars” on Monday. He was joined by National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio Dizon (chief testing czar), Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong (chief tracing czar), and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega (chief treatment czar).

Prior to testing positive for the disease, Villar said Monday the government is eyeing to build 50 new quarantine facilities in the next three weeks.

"Ang target namin in the next three weeks magtatayo kami ng additional 50 quarantine facilities and we can expect na malaki ang madadagdag sa ating kapasidad para sa ating mga COVID patients," he said then.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said he was with Villar last week for the signing of the contract regarding the construction of two new segments of the CAVITEx-C5 Link Expressway.

“Fortunately, [I] had a drive-through swab yesterday and awaiting [the] result today,” Roque said in a message to reporters on Wednesday.

The Philippines on Tuesday, July 14, reported 634 more coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 57,545. This includes 20,459 recoveries and 1,603 deaths.—Virgil Lopez/AOL, GMA News