Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri announced Monday that he once again tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after recovering from the respiratory illness in April.
Zubiri told reporters that he tested negative for COVID-19 via three rapid tests but his swab test result came back positive.
“To allay the rumors on why I was not able to attend the SONA presentation in the Batasan is because even after three rapid tests that showed that I was negative for COVID-19 but possessing antibodies with positive IGg,” he told reporters.
“My swab test, however, showed that I was positive once more for COVID. According to doctors, it is possible that the test detected remnants of the dead virus cells in my body as I am a COVID survivor,” Zubiri added.
He was supposed to attend President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address at Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
The senator said he decided to forego all his appointments to undergo quarantine anew.
Zubiri also said he had himself swabbed again on Monday afternoon “just for confirmation.”
“I feel absolutely fine, wala po akong nararamdaman at wala po akong mga symptoms. But it's better to be safe and to keep everyone safe from this virus. And I will continue to work from isolation virtually until I get my consecutive negative results after quarantine,” he said.
Zubiri first announced that he contracted COVID-19 in March.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who tested negative for COVID-19 via a swab test, also decided not to attend the SONA in person after having contact with a COVID-positive person.
“Hindi na ako nakapunta sa House dahil self-quarantine na ako. I came in contact with someone who tested positive in the Senate,” he explained.
Both Zubiri and Gatchalian attended the opening of the 2nd regular session of Senate earlier in the day.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the senators were assured by doctors that they have “nothing to worry about.”
“Doctors said most of the senators have nothing to worry about because Migz [Zubiri] was with us when we were all masked. Those who need to monitor and observe are those who interacted with him during lunch when they had no masks,” he said. —AOL/BM, GMA News