Roque tests positive for Covid-19; regrets not getting vax

By Azer Parrocha

March 15, 2021, 3:12 pm

<p><strong>POSITIVE.</strong> Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque holds a virtual Palace press briefing on Monday (March 15, 2021). Roque announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19. <em>(Screengrab from PCOO/RTVM)</em></p>

POSITIVE. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque holds a virtual Palace press briefing on Monday (March 15, 2021). Roque announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19. (Screengrab from PCOO/RTVM)

MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19 but will continue to work remotely.

“As of 11:29 this morning, nakuha ko po ang resulta na positibo po ako para sa Covid (my results showed I tested positive for Covid)” he said in a virtual press briefing.

He urged those he has had close contact with to undergo isolation and follow minimum health standards.

Roque said he is currently asymptomatic and admitted that he was “shocked” and “surprised” to find out that he was infected with the virus in his last reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

“It came as a surprise and as a shock na after about 35 tests, nag-positive tayo. Pero sa akin po (that after about 35 tests, I tested positive. For me it’s) almost routine na ito na (that) on a Sunday afternoon preparatory to the Monday evening meeting with the President nagpapakuha ng RT-PCR test (we undergo RT-PCR testing),” he said.

He assured that he tested negative for Covid-19 last March 10, a day before his last interaction with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Roque was among the officials who accompanied Duterte during the inauguration of development projects at Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport on March 11.

Sa dalas po ng mga pagpupulong namin kay Presidente (Due to frequent meetings with the President), I have had to undergo at least three PCR tests a week,” he said.

He said he is inclined to undergo facility-based quarantine if his wife Mylah tests negative for the virus.

“I’m inclined to go to an isolation facility kasi ang misis ko po meron din pong comorbidity. Nagpapa-test na po siya ngayon (because my wife also has comorbidity. She’s getting tested now). If she turns out also to be positive, mag-i-isolate na po kaming magkasama. Pero (we’ll isolate together. But) if she’s negative today I intend to go to an isolation facility also because we need to walk the talk na (that) as much as possible sa (we are in) facility quarantine tayo,” he added.

Roque said he will continue to discharge his function while under isolation and attend meetings via video conference.

“Wala po tayong deputy spox so habang wala po tayong nararamdaman (I don’t have a deputy spokesperson so while I don’t have any symptoms), I will proceed to discharge my functions while on isolation,” he said.

Regrets not getting inoculated

He admitted that he regretted not getting inoculated with China’s Sinovac-made CoronaVac vaccine when doctors from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) offered it to him last March 1.

“Nagsisisi nga ako na hindi ako nagpabakuna nung panahon na ‘yan sa PGH. Kung hindi siguro naubusan at nabakunahan ako sa PGH, siguro hindi na ako nadapuan ngayon (I regret not getting vaccinated at PGH. If I didn’t run out of doses, I probably wouldn’t have gotten infected),” he said.

Earlier, Roque said the interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group’s (NITAG) discouraged government officials to get inoculated until all frontline healthcare workers receive the vaccine.

“I think it was sad na hindi ako nakapagbakuna (that I didn’t get vaccinated) but we also have to follow protocols na unahin ang mga (to prioritize) medical front-liners,” he said.

He urged frontline healthcare workers to immediately get inoculated with available vaccine.

The government will need 3.4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for 1.7 million medical workers in the country. (PNA)