Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was positive for the deadly coronavorus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“I was informed late last night March 24, 2020 that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The swab was taken last Friday, March 20, 2020,” Pimentel said in a statement.
Pimentel is the second confirmed case in the Senate for COVID-19 after the test on Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri also turned positive last week.
Pimentel also urged local scientists to come up with solutions by trying to look for a cure or prevention against COVID-19.
“I will urge our local scientists to study the possibility of looking for the cure or prevention of COVID- 19 in the blood of those who have recovered,” said Pimentel.
Since the last day of session March 11, 2020, Pimentel had already tried his best to limit his movement.
“I will call (to the best of my ability) those I remember meeting during those crucial days so that I can inform them of my test result. I have quarantined myself upon the doctor’s advice and consistent with the protocol,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel expressed hope that he will soon recover from the illness.
Pimentel also disclosed that he had fever at 38 degrees centigrade last March 18.
“I had cough, slight sore throat, breathing is okay, body pains like flu, yes around March 14. Now my body is back to normal with usual aches felt even without the flu. Chills none. Colds felt in the throat area. Diarrhea on and off,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel also asked for prayers, especially for his wife “who is about to give birth in the next few days to our first baby girl, and with whom I cannot be at this very important point in our lives as parents.”
His wife was scheduled to give birth by caesarian operation Wednesday morning (March 25), but the procedure was aborted after he informed the doctor about the news he got from RITM.
Responding to the “bashing” he got on social media, assailing him for moving around a Makati hospital despite being positive for the virus, Pimentel stressed he still did not know about the results.
Pimentel was already in the hospital when he got a call from RITM Tuesday night and told him he was positive for the coronavirus.
“So Immediately went home,” said Pimentel. But before leaving the hospital, he talked to the doctors of his wife.
The senator is married to chef Kathryn Yu after his first marriage to former Miss Pilipinas-Universe 1998 Jewel May Lobaton, with whom he has two sons, was annulled.
Asked about his sons are doing, Pimentel replied, “Matagal na akong not moving unless essential.”
Pimentel also expressed his profound gratitude to our frontline medical workers throughout the country, who are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis to bring a halt to this pandemic. “They are the true heroes in this fight.”
He then asked the public to observe social distancing and follow enhanced community quarantine measures as well as washing of hands and personal hygiene being implemented as they are “the best strategies to beat this disease at this time.”
“I have faith that together we can overcome these challenging times,” Pimentel said.
In defending his husband, Kat said the senator never entered the delivery room of Makati Medical Center.
“He went with me at MMC yesterday to be admitted not knowing he was COVID positive yet. Then RITM called him around 9 pm that he was positive. But he was just in the room. As soon as he found out he was positive, he left me already and told my OB about his situation,” related the senator’s wife.
For weeks now, she said the senator was in self-quarantine and practicing social distance.
“We don’t even share a room for 10 days already….It was only yesterday that he went with me for admission because he was also excited to see me deliver which was scheduled today at 7 a.m.,” said Kat.
But she said the caesarian operation was cancelled. “They required me to get a swab test first before I’m allowed to give birth. So he never entered the delivery room. Even me, I didn’t enter the delivery room yet,” Kat said.
Pimentel said it was 6 to 7 p.m. when they checked in the hospital.
“RITM called me 9 p.m. I told the OB even before I told my wife. Then I left her in the hospital. I never went inside the delivery room. Since I was already inside, then, I had to leave. Hence I had to walk out of the hospital. Walking out po yun not touring,” also said Pimentel./Stacy Ang