Zubiri's governor dad in isolation after senator tests positive for COVID-19

Katrina Domingo and Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2020 07:51 PM

MANILA - Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri has placed himself under self-quarantine on Tuesday, a day after his son, Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The younger Zubiri reportedly traveled back to his home province Bukidnon last week, before the Senate confirmed that a resource person who attended one of the chamber's hearings tested positive for COVID-19. 

"I have decided to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days starting today, March 17, 2020," Gov. Zubiri said in a statement, written in his native dialect.

The 79-year-old governor did not mention when or where he last met his son before the lawmaker placed himself under self-quarantine.

While Bukidnon has yet to confirm a COVID-19 case, the governor urged those with recent travel history to coronavirus-hit areas to place themselves under voluntary isolation to avoid infecting family members, neighbors and other members of the community.

"I am asking you to refrain from non-essential travel, stay at home at all times to curb the spread of the disease, clean your surroundings, wash your hands regularly and avoid social gatherings," he said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said Sen. Zubiri, an asymptomatic patient, may have to undergo another confirmatory test to rule out the possibility of a "false negative" result.

Other senators are also set to undergo COVID-19 tests this week.

The virus, which originated from Wuhan, China, has infected nearly 200 people in the Philippines, and 150,000 others worldwide.

The disease, which can be transmitted through the transfer of bodily fluids from an infected patient, has killed at least 12 in the Philippines and 5,000 others globally.

--With a report from Maria Cecilia Butardo, ABS-CBN News