Philippine leader tests positive for coronavirus, isolates

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — New Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. tested positive for the coronavirus Friday following an antigen test and will go into isolation for about a week, officials said.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos Jr., 64, has a slight fever but “is otherwise OK.” However, he will not be able to attend an event at the U.S. Embassy, and would join by video a meeting with governors and mayors regarding coronavirus booster shots.

People who came into contact with the president, including his son, tested negative for the virus and others were being notified that he has been infected, Angeles said.

Marcos Jr. met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the presidential place in Manila on Wednesday, but it wasn’t clear when Marcos Jr. had become infected.

Marcos Jr. tested positive for the virus two years ago following a trip from Spain and had to be taken to a Manila-area emergency room after having trouble breathing, his spokesman said at the time. He eventually recovered.

He was was sworn into office on June 30 after a landslide victory in a stunning political comeback for the Marcoses. His father and namesake, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in a 1986 “People Power” pro-democracy uprising after a two-decade reign that was marked by human rights atrocities and plunder.