Eight members of the Presidential Security Group who were assigned to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea tested positive for COVID-19, their commander said Wednesday. The group did not have contact with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Medialdea initially tested negative for the virus, said the PSG Commander, Col. Jesus Durante. Members of the PSG assigned to the 75-year-old leader are routinely checked for coronavirus infection, he said.
"PSG also assures the public of the President’s safety despite this unfortunate situation as we continually implement the strict health protocols to our personnel and their dependents to guarantee that the President is safe and healthy," he said.
Duterte's close-in security men stay in quarters that are separate from the rest of the PSG. They were also asked to "limit" contact with relatives and fellow soldiers, Durante said.
Earlier this week, Vice President Leni Robredo's office suspended work after four staffers were confirmed to have COVID-19. Infections are rising as quarantines are eased and further and as more people get tested.