The first Filipino who died due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was the wife of a resource person who attended a Senate hearing last week, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said.
“This is serious as the Filipino lady who died yesterday was the wife of the resource person that attended Sen. (Sherwin) Gatchalian’s hearing (last March 5),” Zubiri said in a statement.
The invited guest was also infected with COVID-19.
The incident prompted Gatchalian to undergo self-quarantine.
“The resource person himself is in critical condition now,” Zubiri added.
Zubiri said most of the lawmakers in the Upper House of the Congress have decided to isolate themselves on Thursday while they await the results of laboratory tests to be undertaken by Gatchalian and Senator Nancy Binay who were both present during the March 5 Senate hearing.
Other senators who decided to go on self-quarantine are Zubiri, Binay, Panfilo Lacson, Juan Edgardo Angara, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. and Francis Pangilinan.
Senator Risa Hontiveros said she will practice social distancing while Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go will undergo COVID-19 testing with President Rodrigo Duterte.
“To be safe, we, the senators should be all tested for COVID-19 as we were exposed yesterday to a number of people,” Zubiri said.
“I had been warning my colleagues on the conduct of public hearings during these times but obviously some of them did not heed my warning,” he added.
Zubiri suggested that Senate employees shall be allowed to work from home as disinfection of the GSIS building continues.
“This virus is no joke and we should take this seriously. Many think we are panicking pero kung mahal ninyo mga magulang n’yo at inyong mga lolo at lola then you should take this virus very seriously dahil ang mga malimit na namamatay ay mga senior citizens,” he added.
Last Wednesday evening, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the death of a 67-year-old Filipina COVID-19 patient who was confined at Manila Doctors Hospital in Manila.
It was the second mortality case in the Philippines.
The first case of death of a COVID-19 patient in the country was of a 44-year-old Chinese tourist.
It was also the first COVID-19- related mortality outside China. /Stacy Ang