Testing czar Vince Dizon in isolation after exposure to COVID-positive Harry Roque


Posted at Mar 16 2021 12:57 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2021 02:33 PM

Testing czar Vince Dizon in isolation after exposure to COVID-positive Harry Roque 1
COVID-19 testing czar Vince Dizon during the Inauguration of the Mega-Quarantine Facility in Taguig City on Sept. 25, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Testing czar Vince Dizon said on Tuesday he is in isolation due to his recent interaction with Palace spokesman Harry Roque, who earlier tested positive for COVID-19. 

Dizon, who is also president and CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, said he was in isolation "because of close contact with Spox (spokesman) Harry last Friday." 

"But absolutely OK and busy working lang with our LGUs (local government units)," he said in a text message to ABS-CBN News. 

Roque was the fifth Cabinet member to catch COVID-19, after Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. 

The Palace spokesman said he has informed all his close contacts of his COVID-19 status, including Dizon, Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc who he interacted with on a visit to the province on Friday morning, and those who went to church with him on Sunday. 

"Wala naman po masyadong close contact. And I think the footages will bear me out na talagang strikto ako sa pagsusuot ng mask at shield," Roque said in a press briefing. 

"Iyon mga kasama ko sa hapagkainan, ito talaga ang close contact at kaunti lang 'yan." 

(There aren't many close contacts. And I think the footages will bear me out that I am really strict in wearing a mask and face shield. Those who dined with me, they're the only close contacts and they are few.) 


Marcos said he had asked that all events during Roque's Ilocos Norte visit be held outdoors. The governor said he also kept a tightly fitted anti-virus mask and avoided fist-bumping at the time of the event. 

"However, I was clearly a close contact and I will need to quarantine. We ask everyone who interacted with Sec. Roque to also quarantine," Marcos said on Facebook.

"This is a reminder that even if people have a negative PCR test, they still may be carriers because they’re incubating. Incubation can take up to 14 days. This is also a reminder that everyone can be a carrier. We cannot let our guard down," he added. 
— With reports from Vivienne Gulla and Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News 

Video courtesy of PTV