MANILA - (UPDATED) The chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday as he announced that he was also going on self-quarantine.
"This morning I was informed by CSAFP Gen Santos that he tested positive of the COVID19 - the result he got yesterday," said Lorenzana.
AFP chief of staff Felimon Santos Jr. earlier went on isolation after announcing that a senior military officer and his spouse have tested positive for COVID-19.
Lorenzana said he will be on self-quarantine effective Friday.
"I had close proximity with him (Santos) on 2 occasions: in VAB during the turn over of medical supplies to me last Sunday p.m, 21 Mar, and again last Monday afternoon 22 March, here in GHQ and at the Heroes Hall, Malacañang."
"I have no symptoms but protocol says I have to self-quarantine for 14 days," he added.
In a separate statement, AFP said Santos will be on strict home quarantine, beginning March 27 until April 10. He will be monitored by physicians from the V. Luna Medical Center.
"He is well and in good health condition. He will be in his military quarters where he will continue the discharge of his duties and responsibilities," the AFP added in a statement.
Santos also urged those who were exposed to him from March 13 to March 27 to go on self-quarantine, the AFP added.
"Those who had similar contact with him from the period 9-12 March but are symptomatic must take precaution and seek medical advise," it added.
While the military chief is on leave, AFP Vice Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado, Jr. shall "oversee the daily operational activities" while Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria will "attend to the administrative matters."
- With reports from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN