Lawmakers, staff among 98 positive for COVID-19 in House testing drive

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Lawmakers, staff among 98 positive for COVID-19 in House testing drive
The session hall at the House of Representatives has been rearranged as fewer members will be physically present for the special session.
The STAR / Handout

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 98 House lawmakers and employees tested positive for the coronavirus in a mass testing drive at the House of Representatives, the chamber’s secretary general confirmed Tuesday.

It is not yet clear how many of that number were lawmakers and employees. House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza only said that they represent five percent of 2,000 lawmakers and staffers who underwent RT-PCR testing beginning November 10.

Mendoza said almost all who tested positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms and have been advised to self-isolate.

Contact tracing is underway, he said, and the House has coordinated with the Quezon City government and barangay health emergency response teams.

Prior to this, there had been 90 cases of COVID-19 among House lawmakers and employees.

The office of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco ensured that the House will continue to operate under strict health and safety protocols, which include regular screening for COVID-19 using RT-PCR tests, considered to be the gold standard in detecting the virus.

Other health and safety protocols include the requirement of wearing masks and face shields, temperature checks and the use of disinfection machines.

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