PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is "safe and in good health," Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Jesus Durante 3rd assured the public on Wednesday, after some members of his security team tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Durante made the assurance after he confirmed that about 45 active cases of Covid-19 have been detected among the members of the PSG.
"Recently we have 126 cases but now may mga na-clear na sa (there were those cleared from) quarantine so we are down to around 45 active cases," Durante said in an interview over state-run People's Television Network.
But the PSG commander quickly clarified that none of those infected with Covid-19 were the close-in security detail of the President.
"As the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise in our country, the Presidential Security Group is not spared from the virus as our personnel continue to perform our mandate during presidential engagements and routine security operations," Durante said in a statement.
"At the least, our PSG personnel who got infected are not directly or closely detailed with the President and are all asymptomatic without experiencing any adverse symptoms. Hence, rest assured that the President is safe and in good health," he added.
Some PSG members testing positive for Covid-19 was the reason why the President's public address will not push through tonight, April 7, according to Duterte's long-time aide and now Senator Christopher "Bong" Go.
The senator assured the public that Duterte, who would be staying in Manila for now, is in good health and does not experience any symptom of Covid-19.
"The President's Talk to the People address is postponed to avoid putting him at risk due to the reported Covid-19 cases in the PSG. Even (Defense) Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana was also found positive of Covid-19 just yesterday," Go said in a text message.
"However, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to PRRD's (President Duterte) health. Nasa mabuting kalagayan naman po ang Pangulo (The President is in good health). In fact, magkasama kami kanina at patuloy ang kanyang trabaho (we were together and he has continued working)," he added.
Meanwhile, Durante assured the public that all health and safety protocols were strictly enforced to manage PSG's Covid-19 situation.
"PSG through its Task Force Covid-19 and our medical staff continue to efficiently and effectively manage our situation ensuring that those who are tested positive complete their quarantine protocols and are properly processed," Durante said.
"Likewise, all health and safety protocols are strictly enforced and implemented to all PSG personnel and their dependents," he added.
Despite the challenges posed by the virus, Durante assured the public that PSG "continues to perform its mandate."
"As earlier mentioned, we have established protocols to contain the spread of the virus and we will continue to enforce it so that the President is kept safe and secured from all forms of threats at all times," he said.
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