Asia/Pacific

Duterte isolating after COVID-19 exposure in Philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is self-isolating after being exposed to a member of his household staff who tested positive for COVID-19, The Associated Press reported

Duterte’s spokesperson said on Thursday that the president has tested negative for the virus twice following his exposure to his household staff member, per the AP.

Duterte, 76, is fully vaccinated against the virus and received his booster shot last month, according to the wire service.

Philippine Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles confirmed social media reports that Duterte went to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in the country’s capital region, though he said it was for a “routine medical check-up only.” 

Nograles also said Duterte, whose six-year term as president ends in June, will continue his leadership duties while in quarantine and will remain in communication with Cabinet members to address issues concerning the pandemic and other urgent matters, the AP reported.

According to the Philippines’ constitution, presidents are required to publicly disclose any serious illness. 

Duterte’s aides have previously defended the president for declining to release bulletins regarding his health, claiming that he does not have serious medical problems, the AP reported.

Duterte has shared a variety of past medical issues he has experienced, including recurring migraines and Barrett’s esophagus, a condition thought to be caused by stomach acid flowing up the esophagus, which the president has called his most serious health concern, per the wire service.

This news of his COVID-19 exposure comes as countries around the world continue to deal with a surge of infections driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Tags COVID-19 COVID-19 exposure Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

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