DOH confirms one of its directors positive for COVID-19

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2020 08:38 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday confirmed that one of its officials has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Opo mayroong isang kawani ng kagawaran natin na naging positibo,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in an interview with DZMM.

(Yes. We have one official from our agency who is positive for COVID-19.)

“Siya po ay isang direktor sa aming central office ng DOH. Pero hindi po totoo na 'yung isa pa hong nare-report ay positibo rin,” she explained.

(He is a director of the DOH Central Office. But it is not true that there is another official who is also positive.)

The director, who is now a confirmed COVID-19 case, is male and in his 50s, Vergeire said.

Earlier in the day, internal information circulated indicating that two DOH officials were positive for COVID-19. The message asked those who came into contact with them during a public hearing to have themselves tested and quarantined.

Vergeire urged people to be careful about sharing such information, especially since the message included the names of the two officials. 

She said it is just causing fear and stigmatization.

“Itong director ay nasa maayos na kondisyon. Hindi naman nagpapakita ng sintomas,” she said, adding that he came into contact with another COVID-19 patient.

(The director is okay. He is not showing any symptoms.)

There are now 187 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. Of that number, six have already recovered while 14 have died.