MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will undergo coronavirus disease (COVID-19) swab test before his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will take the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test before he physically delivers his speech at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
Aside from Duterte, lawmakers and their staff who will attend the SONA will be required to undergo swab tests as well as rapid tests.
The procedure will be done on Sunday, according to Roque.
“Ang alam ko po lahat ng papasok po sa loob ng Batasan will be subjected to PCR testing on Sunday, the night before at lahat po ng nasa grounds ng Batasan will be administered also rapid test,” he said.
Around 50 lawmakers and 15 members of the Cabinet and security aides will be allowed to physically witness the President’s address.
However, the attendance of the first family – composed of Duterte’s children, Congressman Paolo Duterte, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, Veronica Duterte, and Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña – is uncertain.
The Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) earlier said that the chief executive’s SONA will be broadcast live and unedited on Monday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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