Marcos positive for COVID-19 in antigen test, doing 'okay': Palace

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2022 03:14 PM | Updated as of Jul 08 2022 06:56 PM

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. speaks during the Change of Command Ceremony of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) at the PSG Grandstand in Malacañang Park, July 4, 2022. He praises the elite force for its courage, patriotism, and for serving the country. Office of the President
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. speaks during the Change of Command Ceremony of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) at the PSG Grandstand in Malacañang Park, July 4, 2022. He praises the elite force for its courage, patriotism, and for serving the country. Office of the President

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has tested positive for COVID-19 in an antigen test, Malacañang said on Friday.

Marcos "has a slight fever, but he is otherwise okay," Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said in a press conference.

The President's eldest son Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Sandro Marcos tested negative for the virus. Marcos Jr.'s wife Liza and their 2 other sons were not close contacts of the chief executive as they were out of town, Angeles said.

Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez, Presidential Management Staff chief Zenaida Angping and Angeles - who were close contacts of the President - have also taken antigen tests and tested negative for COVID-19.

"The others he has been in close contact with, including those who have taken their oaths are being informed by the PMS to observe their symptoms as per the protocol," Angeles said.

Rodriguez attended a briefing from the security cluster in behalf of the President who is currently in isolation, she said.

MARCOS TO SKIP EVENTS DUE TO ISOLATION

Due to COVID-19 health protocols, the "President will not be attending the 246th anniversary of the US Independence at the US Embassy today," Angeles said.

Marcos will instead "virtually attend and give a message" at the meeting of the League of Governors and Mayors, where local leaders are expected to tackle vaccination policies ahead of the resumption of face-to-face classes, she said.

"The meeting was originally planned to have a dinner, but that has been removed to prevent officials from removing their masks," she said

"The President encourages the public to get their vaccine...and boosters," she said.

Marcos Jr. will be isolated for 7 days since the time he tested positive for COVID-19, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

"After that, if his symptoms have resolved already, he may be able to go back to work and have his face-to-face activities," she said in the same briefing.

Marcos will no longer undergo a confirmatory RT-PCR test, the official added.

"Based on our protocol, if the person is symptomatic, the antigen test will be accurate already so we will just be monitoring the President, but the President has the prerogative if his doctor will advise him to undergo RT-PCR," Vergeire said.

"Nonetheless, the antigen test is already enough to state that he is positive for the disease and he has these mild symptoms," she said.

RECENT MARCOS EVENTS

Symptoms from COVID-19 can show for up to 14 days from the time a person was exposed, according to the DOH

Marcos attended several face-to-face events this week before testing positive for the virus. 

On Tuesday, Marcos Jr. held his first Cabinet meeting, had sworn in new appointees, and met members of the media for his first press briefing since his inauguration. 

The President also met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday. 

Marcos led the oath taking of his next batch of appointed officials and also met the members of his newly-created Private Sector Advisory Council the next day. 

Photos on Thursday showed that Marcos did not wear a mask during separate events, and was also photographed shaking the hands of government officials. 

In 2020, Marcos was among the first high-profile politicians to test positive for COVID-19, just days since the virus first entered the Philippines. Marcos was then rushed to the emergency room of an undisclosed hospital due to difficulty in breathing.

In his inaugural speech on June 30, 2022, Marcos said his first bout with COVID-19 was "not a walk in the park" and vowed to "fix" issues in the Philippines' health system and pandemic response.

"There were shortcomings in the COVID response; we will fix them — out in the open. No more secrets in public health," he said.

"Remember, I speak from experience, I was among the first to get COVID; it was not a walk in the park."

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