MANILA (UPDATE) - The vice chair of the National Task Force against COVID-19 pandemic said Sunday he has tested positive again for the coronavirus.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he began his self-quarantine on Friday after experiencing flu-like symptoms the day before. He said he received his confirmatory test results late Saturday.
"I make this announcement to call the attention of all persons I had close contact with to go on self-quarantine, observe any symptoms in accordance with DOH guidelines, and take appropriate action," he said in a statement.
"In the meantime, I am being closely monitored by my doctors while I am in isolation."
Año, who first tested for the disease in late March, urged the public to wear a mask, wash their hands frequently, and observe physical distancing.
"By adhering to these guidelines, we can all help keep our loved ones and our community safe," he said.
Año was the first member of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet to be infected with COVID-19. He recovered from the disease, based on two negative test results, on April 8 and 13.
Rizal Governor Rebecca Ynares said she would isolate herself after the visit of Año and other NTF members to the province last Wednesday, Aug. 12, even though physical distancing was observed and all attendees were wearing face masks and face shields.
"Pinapayuhan din po ang mga nakasalamuha ni Secretary Año at ng inyo pong lingkod na mag mandatory 14 day quarantine at magpa konsulta kapag nagka sintomas," she said in a statement.
(We advise those who came in contact with Secretary Año and I to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine and consult a doctor if they develop symptoms.)
"Ipanalangin din po natin ang ating butihing DILG Secretary para sa kanyang dagliang muling pagrecover mula sa COVID-19."
(Let's also pray for the speedy recovery of our DILG Secretary from COVID-19.)
Ynares also contracted the disease in March.
Health officials have explained the possibility of detecting remnants of the coronavirus in persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, after Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri disclosed in late July that he was found positive anew for the disease, months after recovering from it.