MANILA - Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday shared his exercise routine as he underscored the importance of a healthy lifestyle that, according to him, helped him recover from COVID-19.
The 72-year-old defense chief tested negative for coronavirus after completing the mandatory quarantine period, his agency said Tuesday. He was found positive on April 6 but did not develop any symptom.
Lorenzana, a retired Army general, said he maintains his physical and mental health "even before I was diagnosed" by waking up at 5:30 a.m. and working out right away.
"My military training taught me what I need to survive in various situations...If exercise were a pill, it would be the most widely prescribed and effective medicine," he said in a Facebook post.
Lorenzana graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1973, and spent around three decades in active military service.
"Self-discipline helped me prepare for what was coming," he said.
"Caring for our physical and mental well-being is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Anyone can do it with the right motivation."
He added, "I thank God and the people who extended their concern for helping me get through it. I am now ready more than ever to serve our nation," he said.
Lorenzana, who also chairs the National Task Force Against COVID-19, is the seventh member of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet who has contracted the respiratory illness.
The others are Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
The Philippines on Saturday logged 9,661 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 989,380, with 89,485 active infections.
The DOH had noted a slight decline in new coronavirus infections in the past week, after stricter lockdowns were reintroduced in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna, and Cavite.
Hospitals around the metro earlier said they still felt overwhelmed with the number of COVID-19 cases even as government has expanded bed capacity.