Education chief Briones now COVID-19 negative

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2020 08:47 AM | Updated as of Apr 13 2020 09:50 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Education Secretary Leonor Briones has tested negative for COVID-19 after catching the respiratory disease, the education department said Monday. 

The Department of Education made the announcement on Twiter. 

However, DepEd Spokesperson Usec. Annalyn Sevilla said this does not mean that Briones is already COVID-free.

"Right now we are telling her that there will be another test...it should be negative for her to be declared COVID-free so ang statement namin na we not saying that COVID-free si Ma'am, we are just saying that her first test after she was declared positive is just negative and we are waiting for another confirmatory test," she told ABS-CBN News.

She also said Briones, who is still isolated, is feeling healthy, energetic and continues to work.

"Wala siyang nararamdaman aysmptomatic siya, every night we are having video calls, this morning mas maaga pa siyang magising they were texting...mga interviews...'di siya pumapalya," Sevilla said.

Briones is also said to be worried for her family whose test results have yet to come out.

“Ang apprehensions niya ay sa family members, especially sa husband niya, nakahiwalay ang pamilya niya, waiting for the results of the testing," Sevilla said.

Briones, 79, was the second member of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet infected with COVID-19 after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. 

The DepEd chief earlier said she was asymptomatic and that her body temperature, taken thrice daily, remained normal. 
 
Duterte also tested negative for COVID-19 and had not developed symptoms, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said last week. The 75-year-old President completed a 2-week quarantine last Tuesday. 

The Philippines as of Sunday confirmed 4,648 cases of the disease, with 297 deaths and 197 patients who recovered.  

All households in Luzon, home to half of the Philippines' 100-million population, are under quarantine until April 30 to stop the pandemic. 

- with a report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News