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Zubiri tests positive for COVID-19

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri announced Monday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Zubiri told reporters that he received a call from Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirming that he is COVID-19-positive.

"It is with sadness that I announce that I am positive for Covid 19," he said in a statement, adding that he took the test on Friday.

“My decision to self-quarantine last Wednesday evening after session was the best decision I made and could have protected my family from contamination,” he said.

In an interview on "24 Oras", Zubiri said he caught the virus even after taking measures against catching the virus.

He warned the public about how it was to catch COVID-19 and urged everyone to follow the protocols government has put in place.

"Dalawang linggo na kong di nakikipagkamay," Zubiri said. "Halos every five minutes naga-alcohol ako."

Zubiri and several other senators underwent a voluntary self-quarantine last week after they learned that one of the resource persons who attended a Senate hearing tested positive for COVID-19.

Zubiri earlier confirmed that the Philippines’ second COVID-19 fatality was the wife of the said resource person. 

Despite the diagnosis, Zubiri said he is “uplifted” because he remains asymptomatic.

“I will stay locked in isolation for 10 more days until I get checked once again with hopefully a negative result. I hope my coming out will show how dangerously infectious this virus is,” he said.

The senator noted that he practiced social distancing and observed a “no-handshake policy” but still got infected with COVID-19.

“It is best for everyone to stay home and stay clean… Sa aking mga kababayans, makinig po tayo sa mga babala nang gobyerno at ‘wag na po kayo lumabas sa inyong mga tahanan,” he said.

It is unclear whether Zubiri was among the 140 COVID-19 in the Philippines earlier confirmed by the Department of Health.

Twelve people infected with the disease have died as of Sunday.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared an enhanced community quarantine over Luzon in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.—LDF, GMA News