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rappler - 15 days ago

Senate under semi-lockdown as 2 employees test positive

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate building in Pasay City is under semi-lockdown, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said, as two more employees tested positive for coronavirus. The latest two infected staff members brought the total confirmed cases at the Senate to 16 since March. One died while the rest have already recovered, according to the Senate Medical and Dental Bureau. We are already in semi-lockdown, Sotto told reporters on Tuesday, June 23. There are also hearings and work to be conducted by senators offices, so we cannot declare a total lockdown. Besides, their salaries will not be processed in a total lockdown scenario, he added. Senate employees have the option not to go to office if they do not want to, said Sotto. The employees who were exposed to the two new cases have already completed the 14-day quarantine, according to Sotto. The Senate president said that the virus-hit employees have health benefits in place, and the chamber covered the payment for coronavirus tests. Senate premises were disinfected on Monday, June 22. Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senators Aquilino Koko Pimentel III and Sonny Angara were infected with coronavirus and have already recovered from the virus. (READ:  This is our generation s war : Sonny Angara on being a coronavirus patient) Zubiri had voluntarily isolated himself, after learning that Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Senator Nancy Binay had exposure to a COVID-19 patient at a Senate hearing on March 5. The Senate was placed under  restricted access. At least half of senators have gone under self-quarantine, after Binay and Gatchalian did. – Rappler.com


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