PSG says 126 members catch COVID-19, 'not closely detailed' with Duterte

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2021 07:06 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed by Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander Brigadier General Jose Niembra during the 122nd PSG anniversary at the PSG Compound on June 26, 2019. Robinson Niñal, Presidential Photo/File 

MANILA — The Presidential Security Team said on Wednesday 126 of its members recently caught COVID-19, but were "not directly or closely detailed" with President Rodrigo Duterte, who cancelled his public address this week. 

"Recently, we had 126 cases," PSG Commander Jesus Durante III said, when asked how many in his team were infected with the novel coronavirus. 

"But now, may mga na-clear na sa quarantine so we are down to around 45 active cases," he said in an interview on the state network PTV. 

(But some were cleared during quarantine so we are down to 45 active cases.)

PSG personnel sickened with COVID-19 were "manning our gates" and are "exposed daily to the local populace," said Duran. 

"At the least, our PSG personnel who got infected are not directly or closely detailed with the President and are all asymptomatic without experiencing any adverse symptom. Hence, rest assured that the President is safe and in good health," he added in a statement. 

Duterte las year said some members of the PSG took unauthorized COVID-19 shots from Chinese state firm Sinopharm. 

It was not immediately clear whether the PSG members who caught COVID-19 included those who took the Sinopharm vaccine. 

Duterte, 75, was expected to deliver a public address on Wednesday. However, his spokesman Harry Roque said the engagement was cancelled "in light of the rising number of active COVID-19 cases." 

"The physical safety of the President remains our utmost concern," he said in a statement. 

"In addition, the preparation for the Talk to the People Address entails a number of staff complement and we also take due consideration of their well-being." 

More details to follow.

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