Fifteen members of President Rodrigo Duterte's security team tested positive for COVID-19, the commander of the Presidential Security Group said Thursday. They have no close contact with the chief executive.
Those who tested positive were asymptomatic, fully vaccinated, and came from their holiday break, PSG commander Col. Randolph Cabangbang said.
"They are not in any way detailed with the President. PSG is strictly adhering to the highest standards of performing its primary mandate, that is, to protect the Commander-in-Chief, our beloved President Rodrigo Roa Duterte," Cabangbang said in a statement.
The development came as the Philippines battled a renewed surge in COVID-19 infections due to the hyper-contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.
The government has escalated the COVID-19 alert level in Metro Manila and nearby provinces this week in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.