This photo shows DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.
Department of Education, Facebook
DepEd Secretary Briones tests positive for COVID-19
( - April 9, 2020 - 2:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — (Updated 3:12 p.m.) Education Secretary Leonor Briones tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), making her the second Cabinet member to contract the highly contagious disease that has infected more than 3,000 people in the country.

In a statement released by the Department of Education on Thursday, Briones, 79, said she received her test results on late afternoon of April 8. 

The education chief said she was tested twice for the virus. The first test, which came out negative, was taken on March 13 after a number of DepEd officials had exposure to an infected patient. 

RELATED: DepEd: 7,704 delegates to national events clear quarantine periods

Briones said she had herself tested again on April 2 after a Cabinet member who attended an urgent meeting with her last March 23  announced that he contracted the disease.

Although she did not name the Cabinet member, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año disclosed on March 31 that he had tested positive for COVID-19.  Año is among the top officials implementing the country’s response to the outbreak.

Other members of the Duterte Cabinet have been on self-quarantine. 

“I remain asymptomatic. My body temperature, which is taken three times a day, remains normal,” the DepEd boss said.

“I am going on isolation... I call on all who had physical contact with me to go on precautionary self-quarantine at home,” she added.

As of reporting, the Philippines reported a total of 3,870 infections. Of that figure, 182 died due to complications.

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