Senate locked down after 8 members catch Covid

Senate building

THE entire Senate building has been locked down until Monday after eight senators tested positive for Covid-19.

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri issued the lockdown order to check the spread of the virus.

Catching the virus were Senate Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos, Cynthia Villar, Mary Grace Poe, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Maria Lourdes “Nancy” Binay.

The latest to be infected were Ejercito, Villanueva and Binay.

In a text message to reporters, Ejercito said his RT-PCR test was positive.

Villanueva said he, too, tested positive and sent a copy of his medical certificate to the Senate media Viber group.

Binay said she was going into self-isolation after being tested positive for Covid.

“I am currently at home in isolation, and strictly following recommended protocols, including health and safety procedures,” said Binay.

Zubiri instructed the chamber's secretariat to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of all Senate offices.

“For this reason, there will be a total lockdown of our Senate building and all Senate employees shall work from home and need not report to the Senate on Monday,” he said.

Senate sessions will resume on August 23, he said.

“Please stay safe and healthy everyone. Together we shall fight this virus and continue to deliver government service as efficiently as possible. Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much),” Zubiri said in an advisory released on Friday.

Earlier in the week, Poe said she was experiencing mild symptoms, “mostly headaches,” after her antigen test came out positive.

Escudero has been attending sessions online after being exposed to a person with Covid.

Marcos has scrapped her trip to Dubai this weekend, where she was scheduled to greet her countrymen who will watch the film “Maid in Malacañang” during the weekend.

“Unfortunately, her RT-PCR test result yesterday is still positive so she was advised to continue quarantine and therefore cannot travel,” a statement from Viva Films said.

The Senate has imposed stricter anti-Covid measures, banning visitors for the next three weeks and requiring negative antigen or RT-PCR tests for government officials and resource1 persons required for committee proceedings.

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