MANILA (UPDATE) - Sen. Sonny Angara said Thursday he has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), becoming the third member of the Senate to be sick with the infectious disease.
Angara said he has been feeling some symptoms such as mild fever, cough, headaches, and general weakness.
“I regret to announce that today, March 26, I received my test result and it is positive for COVID-19,” he said.
The lawmaker said he has not been in contact with the public since taking the test last March 16.
"I ask for your prayers that together we are able to pull through this tremendous challenge," he said.
"With hope, sacrifice, and unity of effort, we shall overcome," he said.
Angara is the third senator who tested positive for the disease, after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III earlier revealed their diagnosis.
Earlier this month, the Senate building was disinfected after a resource person who attended a March 5 hearing in the Senate eventually tested positive for the disease.
Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay, who attended the said hearing, tested negative for COVID-19.
Other senators have opted to place themselves under self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.
NO FURTHER DISINFECTION IN SENATE
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said there is no need to further disinfect Senate premises.
"We already did that (disinfection). The 3 senators [with COVID-19] have not gone to the Senate since the last session day," Sotto told ABS-CBN News.
The Senate is currently on its annual 2-month Holy Week break, and Sotto advised the chamber's employees to stay at home and test for the disease if possible.
"If given the opportunity, go for a test. Many have undergone rapid testing anyway. Private [testing] ha, not government," he said.
Sotto and other senators were earlier criticized for taking the coronavirus test despite a Department of Health policy that the swabbing kits should be used to test the elderly and symptomatic patients due to the lack of test units in the Philippines.
A Senate hearing earlier found that the DOH only had 2,000 COVID-19 testing kits shortly before the Philippines declared a public health emergency due to the rapid spread of the disease, which originated from Wuhan, China.
Since then, several donations, including 100,000 test kits from China, have arrived.