A TOTAL of 98 persons have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the House of Representatives following the conduct of its first-ever mass testing, a House official said on Tuesday.
House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza said the number represents nearly 5 percent of 2,000 House lawmakers and employees who underwent the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing since Nov. 10.
“It’s the first time a mass testing was conducted in the House since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, and this happened less than one month after Speaker Velasco assumed office,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said Velasco ordered the mass testing to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the Batasan Complex, while the legislative chamber carries out its constitutional duties amid the pandemic.
Mendoza noted that almost all COVID-19 positive cases were asymptomatic
“All those who tested positive were directed to self-isolate to avoid passing the virus to others and immediate tracing of their close contacts was conducted,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said the chamber is coordinating with the Quezon City government for a more extensive contract tracing.
“Because it was mass testing for all officials, employees, and guests entering the Batasan Complex, we caught even the asymptomatic cases who could be transmitters if we didn’t find out they were COVID positive,” Mendoza said.
He added that the House has been implementing strict health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all the offices and buildings within the Batasan Complex. Philippine News Agency