President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has tested positive for COVID-19 in an antigen test, Malacañang said Friday.
In a briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Angeles said the President was experiencing a slight fever but was otherwise all right.
This is the second time Marcos tested positive for the coronavirus.
Angeles said those who had been in close contact with the President are currently being informed by the Presidential Management Staff to observe their symptoms.
The Palace said the President will continue his work.
“Rep. Sandro Marcos has not tested positive for COVID-19 despite being exposed to his father. The other members of the first family were out of town,” Angeles said.
“The President encourages the public to get their vaccine series and boosters,” she added.
His condition prevented Marcos from physically attending the 246th anniversary of US independence at the US Embassy held on July 8.
Marcos, however, would deliver a speech virtually at the meeting of the League of Governors and Mayors Friday night regarding the “continuing campaign for a series of vaccinations and booster shots in preparation for the face-to-face opening of classes this school year.
The meeting’s dinner has been removed “to prevent officials from removing their masks.”
According to the protocols implemented by the Health Department, Marcos is not required to take a confirmatory Rapid Test-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test but will instead isolate for seven days starting from the positive test result.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that after seven days if the President is symptoms-free, he will be able to resume face-to-face activities.
In a meeting with Health officials Wednesday, Marcos said there was a need to further study the COVID-19 alert level system.
“He analyzed the metrics we have at present, and he instructed us to further study the alert level so that it will be more appropriate to our situation,” Vergeire said in Filipino.
Vergeire said Marcos wants the DOH to expand the coverage of the national government’s inoculation program and increase the vaccination rate.
Vergeire said most of those infected with COVID-19 are mild and asymptomatic.
She said a booster shot does not necessarily address the “further rise” of infections, however, it will protect individuals from getting severe infections and there will be fewer individuals who will be admitted to hospitals.
“Even though you’re vaccinated, you could still get sick. But the promise of vaccines, even though we get sick, is that we will be prevented from having severe and critical infections,” Vergeire said.
Meanwhile, the DOH expressed support for the plan to resume face-to-face classes. Earlier, Marcos said the Department of Education wants physical classes in some schools by September before holding 100 percent in-person schooling by November.
“The Department of Health fully supports the opening of classes,” Vergeire said. “Our education system needs to be opened already.”