SENATOR Koko Pimentel has confirmed that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
He released a statement today, March 25, saying that he had been informed of his diagnosis yesterday night.
He was initially tested on March 20.
Pimentel, however, assured the public that he was feeling well. “I have quarantined myself upon the doctor's advice and consistent with the protocol. I feel I am, with God's help, on the way to recovery,” he wrote.
Mindful that he had been carrying the virus for some time, he wrote, “Since the last day of session March 11, 2020 I had already tried my best to limit my movement. I will call (to the best of my ability) those I remember meeting during those crucial days so that I can inform them of my test result.”
He asked for prayers, “especially for my wife Kath”, who is about to become a mother.
Pimentel, who was elected in 2013 and served as Senate President from 2016 to 2018, also thanked the frontline medical workers, calling them true heroes for “putting their lives at risk on a daily basis to bring a halt to this pandemic.”
For the rest of his countrymen, he urged them to follow proper quarantine protocols.
Pimentel’s announcement comes several hours after Duterte signed the “Bayanihan Heal As One” Act just after midnight on Wednesday. This act gives the chief executive additional powers to deal with the crisis.
It also outlined provisions to release P5,000 to P8,000 in emergency cash aid for 18 million low-income families, as well as a “special risk allowance” for health workers on top of their hazard pay.
The controversial “business takeover” provision from the original draft was dropped during the marathon deliberation session by the two legislative bodies on Monday. Instead, Duterte has the power to take over only private medical facilities and public transportation.
As of yesterday, there are 552 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Read Senator Koko Pimentel’s full statement below:
I was informed late last night March 24, 2020 that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The swab was taken last Friday, March 20, 2020.
Since the last day of session March 11, 2020 I had already tried my best to limit my movement. I will call (to the best of my ability) those I remember meeting during those crucial days so that I can inform them of my test result.
I have quarantined myself upon the doctor's advice and consistent with the protocol. I feel I am, with God's help, on the way to recovery.
I would like to ask for your prayers, especially for my wife Kath, who is about to give birth in the next few days to our first baby girl, and with whom I cannot be at this very important point in our lives as parents.
I want to express again my profound gratitude to our frontline medical workers throughout the country, who are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis to bring a halt to this pandemic. They are the true heroes in this fight.
I also urge all of us to observe the social distancing, enhanced community quarantine measures, washing of hands and personal hygiene being implemented because they are the best strategies to beat this disease at this time. I have faith that together we can overcome these challenging times.
Please take care.
Thank you and may God bless the Philippines.