MANILA (UPDATE) — Former president Joseph "Erap" Estrada has tested negative for COVID-19 and is showing signs of improved health, his son Jinggoy said on Tuesday.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, the younger Estrada said the former chief executive and Manila mayor was also wheeled out of the intensive care unit earlier in the day.
"When you’re wheeled out of the ICU and you’re going to be transferred to a regular room, siguro (maybe), for me, being a non-doctor, I think he is off the hook already, " Jinggoy told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.
"Pero siyempre (but of course), I will not preempt what the doctor will say,” he added.
The former senator also pointed out that is a "welcome development" for their family, most especially that Estrada also tested negative for the coronavirus.
"Parang nabunutan na kami ng tinik,” he said.
(It felt like a thorn has been removed.)
In his Facebook post early Tuesday, the younger Estrada pointed out that based on his latest medical bulletin, Erap could now be transferred to a regular room as his condition is improving.
Despite the positive developments regarding Estrada's health, Jinggoy pointed out that his father would still require high flow oxygenation "but at a much reduced rate."
"He has been allowed to resume soft diet... Mentally, he is oriented, conversing normally and appears to be in good spirits," he added.
In a separate statement, JV Ejercito shared a photo of his father at the hospital.
"Prayers indeed moves mountains," Ejercito said in his Facebook page, as he thanked supporters for praying for his father.
On Sunday, Estrada was singing following extubation, based on a video shown by one of his nurses.
Meanwhile, Jinggoy said the Estrada family would implement stricter visiting protocols when the former president is discharged from the hospital.
“I will have to be strict already. Ayoko nang maulit na mangyari sa tatay ko,” said Jinggoy.
(I don't want this to happen again to dad.)
The Estrada patriarch was sent to the intensive care unit last week after catching pneumonia. He was then intubated and mildly sedated.
On April 9, he was removed from ventilator support after supposedly responding well to treatment.
Ejercito earlier Tuesday said another family member tested positive for COVID-19.
"Praying for my Tita Pilarica, the eldest sister of my dad. She is 93 and is positive, having a hard time to breathe," he said.
Estrada, a former actor who served as President from 1998 until 2001, is turning 84 on April 19. He did not finish his six-year term after he was ousted, following accusations of corruption.
He was last in public service as Mayor of Manila City from 2013 until 2019.
He was convicted of plunder in 2007 and sentenced to life imprisonment. But his successor, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, pardoned him a month later.
The Philippines is battling a new surge of coronavirus infections, with some hospitals in the capital region announcing full occupancy amid a stream of fresh admissions.
WATCH: Erap patuloy ang pag-recover sa COVID-19