Interior chief Año, COVID-19 survivor, urges caution instead of fear


Posted at Apr 23 2020 09:18 AM | Updated as of Apr 23 2020 09:39 AM

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MANILA - Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who is among the leaders of the Philippines' pandemic response, said Thursday his health was "very strong" after recovering from COVID-19. 

Año was the first member of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet to be infected with COVID-19, followed by Education Secretary Leonor Briones, who also recovered. The Interior Secretary said he was asymptomatic and later tested negative twice for the new coronavirus, on April 8 and 13. 

"Okay naman tayo. We are working full-time at masigla tayo, very strong," he told DZMM. 

(We're okay. We are working full-time and we are alert, very strong.) 

"Ito rin siguro ay isang halimbawa sa ating mga kababayan; kapag kayo ay nagkaroon ng COVID virus, 'wag kayong matakot. Kung kayo ay nag-iingat at sa una pa lang ay ginagawan na ninyo ng karampatang aksyon, masu-survive ninyo ang COVID at kayang-kaya natin ito," he added. 
(Perhaps this can serve as an example to our compatriots; don't be afraid if you catch COVID. If you take precautions and act immediately, you can survive COVID.) 

Año said had fever and felt like he had a bad case of flu. He said he used traditional remedies like inhaling steam from boiling water and gargling with salted water. 

There is no evidence that steam therapy can kill the coronavirus or that salty water can prevent respiratory diseases, according to Reuters reports citing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.