Military chief has recovered from COVID-19, says AFP

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    General Filemon Santos (Photo from pna.gov.ph)

    ARMED Forces chief Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. has recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), along with a senior military official and his wife who were earlier tested positive for the virus, the military reported yesterday.

    Santos went on home quarantine on March 23 when he learned that the senior officer he was in contact with and the officer’s wife tested positive for COVID-19. Santos tested positive on March 26.

    The senior officer and his wife have also recovered.

    AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said Santos underwent another test by the Department of Health and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine at the end of the 14-day quarantine and the negative result came in on Sunday.

    “He is thereby deemed to have recovered although he has not experienced any of the symptoms of virus infection ever since,” said Arevalo of Santos who he said continued to discharge his duties and responsibilities while on quarantine.

    “We wish to thank everyone for the continuing prayers and support accorded to the AFP Chief and to every soldier, airman, sailor, and marine who tirelessly protect fellow Filipinos and the communities against COVID-19 and other threats to national well-being,” added Arevalo.

    Soldiers are supporting policemen in the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon and parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

    In a statement, Santos said: “We continue our call for everyone to cooperate: stay home, use masks, observe proper hygiene, and maintain physical distancing.”

    “This battle against COVID-19 is everybody’s fight that should start from our respective homes. The life we are saving by doing that could be our own or that of our loved ones,” Santos also said.

    Arevalo said the senior military officer and his wife tested positive on March 23. They were confined at the V. Luna Medical Center, a military hospital in Quezon City.

    “He is already okay, he’s already recovered, along with his wife. They’re already (COVID-19) negative,” said Arevalo, adding the two are now classified as persons under monitoring, based on standard operating procedure.

    Sources the officer breached protocol by not going on a home quarantine after arriving from Jordan. The officer was believed to have infected Santos, who also had contact with Interior Secretary Eduardo Año who also tested positive for COVID-19.

    Arevalo said he is not aware of any other confirmed COVID-19 cases in the AFP, apart from Santos, the senior military official, and his wife.

    Meanwhile, PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the number of policemen who tested positive for COVID-19 rose to 14 . Two of these policemen, he said, have died.

    Banac said the number of policemen classified as persons under investigation (PUIs) is now at 236 and 1,620 others are persons under monitoring (PUMs).

     VETERANS

     Thirty-one veterans have been infected with COVID-19, and seven of them have died, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Sunday.

    There are four types of the veterans in the country — those who figured in World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and retired military personnel who reached the age of 65.

    “The confirmed cases at the VMMC is 31,” said Lorenzana, referring to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City which is attending to the health needs of the veterans.

    “Seven of them died and 12 are still admitted … two have recovered,” Lorenzana said, adding the rest are under home quarantine and under monitoring by the VMMC. There are 17 veterans classified as PUIs.

    Lorenzana said a VMCC physician has contracted the disease but is now fully recovered.

    Lorenzana, a retired Army major general who is considered a veteran already as he is 71 years old, said he is due to complete his home quarantine today.

    Lorenzana had contact with Santos, prompting him to go on quarantine as a precaution.