MANILA - Four members of Vice President Leni Robredo's staff have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, her spokesman confirmed on Sunday.
One staffer, who was engaged in COVID-19 response operations tested positive for the virus, said Robredo spokesman Barry Gutierrez.
"Following our safety protocols, office work was immediately suspended, and testing was done for concerned OVP personnel working at the office or deployed in the field, including Vice President Leni Robredo," Gutierrez said in a statement.
Robredo tested negative for COVID-19, but three additional staffers tested positive, according to Gutierrez.
He added that Robredo's office has already started contact tracing procedures to identify all those who have interacted with the four staffers that tested positive.
Gutierrez said the Office of the Vice President will be temporarily closed to make way for full disinfection.
Since the government began implementing strict quarantine measures in mid-March, Robredo's office has been actively helping frontliners and communities affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Her spokesman said that Robredo and her staffers "were aware of the possible risk to the Vice President and our staff."
"And while we stringently followed strict safety protocols in our work at the office and in various communities, the VP herself, as well as every staffer, was aware that contracting Covid-19 was always a possibility.
Despite this, Gutierrez said the Office of the Vice President will continue working to help in efforts to fight COVID-19.
"This virus will not slow us down. This virus will not beat us."
Robredo recently sent recommendations to Malacañang about how to better respond to the COVID-19 crisis. While the Palace has said that the Vice President's recommendations were already being implemented, Robredo said this was not the case.