File photo shows the Supreme Court office in Padre Faura St. Manila.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas
SC justice's staff member tests positive on COVID-19
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - March 26, 2020 - 4:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — A staff member of a Supreme Court associate justice tested positive on COVID-19, SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka said Thursday.

Hosaka confirmed that a member of Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier's team tested positive on the novel coronavirus, the first case recorded at the SC.

“We immediately informed and got in touch with all court personnel who may have had contact with the said staff of [Javier],” Hosaka said.

“So far, they are all OK and in good health,” he added.

A separate statement from Javier’s office said that the staff member first experienced fever on March 12, the last day he/she reported for work. The office said they “were able to sanitize” their area the following day.

The fever persisted until March 18 and the staff member got tested on March 19.

The staff member regularly boarded SC Bus No. 8 to and from work, they added.

“The result came out positive on March 24, per the city health office of Bacoor,” the statement read.

Javier’s office also said all its other employees are under self-quarantine since Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta’s announcement of modified work schedules.

Peralta directed courts nationwide to “drastically” reduce operations from March 16 to April 14 to help prevent local transmission of the new coronavirus.

The chief justice later issued a new administrative order directing courts nationwide to by physically closed starting March 23.

Peralta tested negative

The SC PIO on March 20 also announced that Peralta tested negative on COVID-19.

SC PIO said Peralta went to The Hague, Netherlands on an official business trip early in March.

The chief justice did not immediately get tested upon arriving in the Philippines but he later showed symptoms such as persistent coughing and underwent self-quarantine.

Doctors later advised him to get tested for COVID-19 since the chief justice also came from Netherlands where there are 2,052 confirmed cases.

Hosaka said he is unaware if any other justices of the SC have undergone COVID-19 testing.

The Philippines on Thursday reported 71 new infections, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 707.

COVID-19 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS SUPREME COURT
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