Robredo, staff under quarantine after COVID-19 exposure
Vice President Leni Robredo holds a press briefing in this January 6, 2020 file photo
The STAR/Boy Santos

Robredo, staff under quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) - October 25, 2020 - 11:31am

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo and part of her staff are under quarantine after an exposure to a person who tested positive for the coronavirus, she announced in her weekly radio program on Sunday. 

Robredo, the second highest official in the country, said they were told of the news on Friday and are not experiencing any symptom for the virus. 

Prior to the exposure, the vice president said her activities this week included the opening of their community learning hubs in Pasig and in Taytay, Rizal meant to assist students who are in need of gadgets for their blended learning classes. 

Her chief of staff, Undersecretary Francisco Dy, as well as other members of her office, are also under quarantine. 

"Very close contact kami pero sumunod naman kami sa protocols," she said over DZXL. "Tingin ko salbado naman kami pero kailangan natin sumunod sa protocol para sigurado lang."

(We were in very close contact with the person who tested positive but we were all following protocols. I think we'll be safe but we opted to follow protocol just to be sure.) 

The vice president and her staff are still waiting to undergo swab test and said they will resume work once they are cleared. 

In July, eight personnel of Robredo's office involved in COVID-19-related programs contracted the virus which had then caused a suspension of office work. She had since tested negative for COVID-19 since then.

"Ito hindi staff pero nakasama namin this week sa ikot. Kasama namin buong umaga pero wala namang may gusto nito," she added. 

(This time it was not a staff member but someone who was with us this week for the rounds. We were with the person the whole morning, but nobody wanted for this to happen.) 

Robredo admitted that the risk of exposure is unavoidable given the community projects they have launched to assist those affected by the ongoing health crisis. 

At a Facebook post, she said 13 other community learning hubs throughout the country opened this week, as well as launching a new program for out-of-school youth. 

RELATEDRobredo partners with USAID, non-profit org to train unemployed, out-of-school youth

The vice president from time to time comes up with recommendations to the national government for improvements in its virus response that has now led to more than 367,000 infections and nearly 7,000 dead. 

Such efforts prompted an official of the Palace's anti-corruption body in April to suggest authorities to probe Robredo for seemingly competing with government in responding to the pandemic. 

Then PACC commissioner Manuelito Luna's remarks did not sit well with many, including lawmakers, and had led to President Rodrigo Duterte firing him from his post. 

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