MANILA (UPDATE 3)—Sen. Lito Lapid has tested positive for COVID-19, his office disclosed Monday.
"We wish to confirm that unfortunately, Pinuno tested positive in his COVID-19 RT-PCR test," lawyer Jericho Acedera, Lapid's chief of staff, said in a statement.
"He is currently undergoing treatment at the Medical City Clark where his doctors consider his case as mild to moderate," he added.
Pinuno is the moniker of a rebel leader that Lapid portrayed in the long-running series "FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano."
All of the senator's close contacts have taken necessary tests and have been instructed to comply with existing COVID-19 protocols, Acedera said.
Only Lapid's personal and close-in employees were "considerably exposed" to him as the senator caught COVID-19 when the upper House was not holding sessions.
The employees "have tested negative in their antigen tests and currently exhibit no symptoms," Acedera said.
"We shall be reporting progress of his recovery when needed and as we get the news from his doctors," he said.
"We enjoin everyone to pray that his health and of all those infected continue to improve, and more importantly, for this pandemic to soon be over," he added.
The 65-year-old senator is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, his staff said.
When asked what vaccine was used on Lapid, his staff said: "Either Sinovac or Sputnik."
Lapid is the 7th Philippine senator who tested positive for COVID-19.
Last year, Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sonny Angara, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., and Ronald Dela Rosa were also infected with the disease that has killed about 30,000 people in the country.
Earlier this year, Sen. Richard Gordon also tested positive for COVID-19.
All senators who earlier contracted the disease have recuperated.
The Senate has been holding a mix of virtual and physical sessions since last year to limit the possible transmission of the virus in the chamber.
On Sunday, the Philippines reported more than 16,000 coronavirus infections, pushing its tally to over 1.8 million cases. So far, some 31,810 people have died from the disease.
The country is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases fueled by the more contagious Delta variant.
To curb the spread of the virus, Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna and Bataan are placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, the second strictest lockdown level, until the end of August.