Duterte security aide tests positive for coronavirus

By CNN Philippines Staff

A member of the Presidential Security Group tasked to secure President Rodrigo Duterte has tested positive for coronavirus, the commander of the group confirmed.

PSG commander Jesus Durante, however, said in a text message shared to Malacañang reporters that the security aide had no close contact with Duterte, is not part of his close-in security, and has since recovered.

“PSG Compound and Malacañang complex remain to be safe and secured for the President and the first family,” Durante said in a statement.

Durante said so far, 90 members of the PSG have been tested for coronavirus using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR, considered to be the gold standard in testing for the virus that causes COVID-19.

He added that since March 17 a total of 160 PSG members have been quarantined after testing positive for coronavirus antibodies, but most have been released after 14 days as they showed no symptoms and tested negative for the new coronavirus.

Malacañang has stiffened rules for those who would like to meet with Duterte, with the Palace requiring anyone who would like to meet with him to first undergo a rapid antibody test, which screens for antibodies that fight the infection.

Duterte himself had been tested for coronavirus in March, with his results coming out negative.

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