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34 lawmakers, House staff infected
Of the 2,848 people who underwent swab tests from Jan. 18 to 27, House secretary general Mark Leandro Mendoza said 34 tested positive for the viral disease.
Andy Zapata Jr.,file

34 lawmakers, House staff infected

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - February 1, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Thirty-four members and employees of the House of Representatives have tested positive for COVID-19 during the chamber’s second mass testing initiative.

Of the 2,848 people who underwent swab tests from Jan. 18 to 27, House secretary general Mark Leandro Mendoza said 34 tested positive for the viral disease.

Mendoza said all those who tested positive were brought to isolation facilities to avoid further transmission of the virus.

Tracing of close contacts was immediately conducted, he said.

“Throughout the testing period, we coordinated with the barangay health emergency response team and followed protocols set the Department of Health,” Mendoza said.

He noted that the number of new COVID-19 infections in the chamber went down by almost two-thirds based on the results. The cases were reportedly asymptomatic.

“This is equivalent to a positivity rate of only 1.19 percent, way below the five percent positivity rate recorded during the first mass testing,” Mendoza said.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco ordered a stricter implementation of health and safety protocols within the Batasang Pambansa complex to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In November last year, 98 lawmakers and House employees tested positive for COVID-19. All 98 cases have recovered, according to Mendoza.

The number is on top of the 93 people who contracted the virus in the lower chamber prior to the first mass testing.

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