Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Wednesday said he has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“I was informed late last night March 24, 2020 that I have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. The swab was taken last Friday, March 20, 2020,” Pimentel, the second senator to test positive for the disease, said in a statement.
The first senator to test positive for Covid-19 was Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who confirmed last March 16 that he had the disease.
“Since the last day of session on March 11, 2020, I had already tried my best to limit my movement. I will call (to the best of my ability) those I remember meeting during those crucial days so that I can inform them of my test result,” he said.
Pimentel said he received the news at a hospital where he was accompanying his wife who was scheduled to give birth Wednesday morning.
“I received the call from RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) when I was already in the hospital last night, hence I left immediately,” he said.
“I would like to ask for your prayers, especially for my wife Kath, who is about to give birth in the next few days to our first baby girl, and with whom I cannot be at this very important point in our lives as parents,” Pimentel added.
At present, he said he has already quarantined himself “consistent with the protocol,” and urged the public to strictly observe social distancing, enhanced community quarantine measures, washing of hands and personal hygiene.
“They are the best strategies to beat this disease at this time. I have faith that together we can overcome these challenging times,” Pimentel said.
He also expressed his “profound gratitude” to the frontline medical workers who are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis to bring a halt to this pandemic, saying they are “the true heroes in this fight.”
To date, the Philippines has 636 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 38 deaths. (PNA)