MANILA (UPDATE2) - Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed Saturday he has been admitted in a hospital due to a fresh bout with COVID-19.
Roque did not specify which hospital he was confined in, although sources told ABS-CBN News the official was seen at the Philippine General Hospital.
"I am now admitted in a hospital for Covid treatment," he said in a statement.
"This is to say that COVID-19 is more transmissible now so we have to do extra precaution," he added.
"I am asking for your sincerest prayers to all afflicted with COVID-19 in the country and around the world."
Roque, who has a heart condition and diabetes, was earlier sighted inside the state hospital's Department of Pay Patient Services, according to sources.
They added that Roque is currently on non-invasive breathing support as he needed to be connected with a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure, a type of ventilator.
The official first announced he tested positive for the coronavirus on March 15. He was found negative for the disease on March 25.
It was unclear when he again contracted the virus, or whether he is suffering from further effects of his earlier illness.
Roque previously underwent a heart procedure, which prompted him to withdraw his 2019 Senate bid.
Roque's hospitalization came as medical facilities in Metro Manila are nearing the breaking point, with some hospitals declaring full capacity in their emergency rooms and COVID-19 wards despite nearly 2 weeks since the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in the region and 4 nearby provinces.
The government is also distributing modular tents to struggling hospitals and re-deploying health workers from regions where virus transmission rates are low.
The Philippines so far tallied over 853,000 COVID-19 infections, of which over 190,000 remain active infections -- the highest since the pandemic reached the country over a year ago.
— With reports from Jamaine Punzalan and Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News