Defense chief Lorenzana to go on quarantine after aide catches coronavirus

Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 14 2020 02:07 PM | Updated as of Jul 14 2020 02:58 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana answers questions from the media after an inspection of the Eva Macapagal Super Terminal which was converted into a COVID-19 treatment facility in Pier 15, Manila on April 21, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, among key officials in the country's pandemic response, said Tuesday he would go on self-quarantine after a member of his staff was infected with COVID-19. 

Lorenzana, head of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said his aide got a positive result of his coronavirus swab test when they landed together in Jolo, Sulu on Monday. 

The 71-year-old official said his aide was also with him on a trip to Subic, Zambales on Friday. 

Lorenzana said his aide "was in seclusion" during the Jolo trip and did not interact with President Rodrigo Duterte, who visited the soldiers there. 

He said his staff flew back to Manila with him in full safety gear. 

"I had myself swabbed this morning and will self-quarantine to await the results," said the Defense chief. 

Two other members of Duterte's cabinet had recovered from the respiratory disease, namely Education Secretary Leonor Briones, 79, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, 58. 

The Philippines as of Monday confirmed 57,006 cases of COVID-19.