MANILA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has tested negative for COVID-19, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said on Friday.
Duterte, 74, and his longtime aide, Go, were tested for COVID-19 on Thursday after they attended on March 5 an event where a coronavirus-positive person attended.
Both tested negative.
“We are fit and healthy to perform our duties,” Go said in a statement.
While Duterte and Go do not have the symptoms of the virus, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Thursday that they have opted to undergo the test “to ensure that they are fit and healthy to perform their duties as government workers."
“They are undertaking this pre-emptive step as per advice of health officials given that they have regularly engaged with Cabinet officials, some of whom have opted to undergo self-quarantine as they were exposed to those infected with COVID-19,” Panelo added.
Many of the members of the Cabinet, lawmakers and local officials have opted to go on self-quarantine after they had been exposed to people who tested positive for COVID-19.
The Philippines has now a total of 64 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including five deaths.
Duterte placed Metro Manila, home to nearly 13 million people, on lockdown for a month, imposing travel restrictions and prohibiting large gatherings, in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus.