One hundred sixty members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) are confirmed positive for coronavirus through a rapid test, according to PSG Commander Colonel Jesus Durante III.
One other PSG member also tested positive for the disease via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, as reported by GMA News reporter Joseph Morong.
Despite this, Durante assured that President Rodrigo Duterte had no exposure and contact with anyone in the PSG who tested positive for COVID-19.
“No exposure with PRRD [President Duterte]. Does not belong with close-in security detail. So far 90 have been tested by PCR,” Durante said.
Durante also noted that all 160 PSG members were quarantined with mostly already released after 14 days without symptoms, and after an RDT produced negative results.
“All PSG personnel are being tested by RDT every 15 days. If found positive by RDT they are confined and isolated for 15 days then subjected to PCR test. So far, only one personnel has been found positive by PCR but is now fully recovered,” he said.
Durante also shared that the PSG has been conducting coronavirus testing since March “to ensure that PSG troopers do not become a threat to the President themselves and guarantee that his safety is not compromised in any way.”
He also noted that the “PSG Compound and Malacañang Complex remain to be safe and secured for the President and the first family.”
Meanwhile, COVID-19 testing of Filipino citizens remains a controversial topic after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the government still has no plans for mass testing.
The official also recently said that the government will rely on the private sector to boost the country’s mass testing statistics.
As of writing, the Philippines has 12,942 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 837 deaths and 2,843 recoveries.