MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday that he has tested positive for the COVID-19, joining a list of Cabinet officials in the Duterte administration to contract the virus.
The defense chief said in a press statement that he learned of his RT-PCR test result Tuesday night and will undergo the prescribed 14-day quarantine.
"Those who have been exposed to me have been informed," Lorezana said in a statement. "They have been advised to isolate and get tested for COVID-19 as well."
Last month, Lorenzana said he would not be vaccinated for the COVID-19 with Sinovac, after local regulators advised against using it on senior citizens. The retired Army general is 72.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Education Secretary Leonor Briones have previously contracted COVID-19.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has also tested positive for COVID-19.
Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim contracted COVID-19 in December 2020. He died on January 6, 2021. The MMDA chairman holds Cabinet rank.
Lorenzana reminded the public that "the threat of the virus is as real as ever." He added that the Department of National Defense will continue work under a skeleton workforce.
"Let us all cooperate and abide by the prescribed health protocols to help in curbing the spread of COVID-19," he said.
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