PSG: Duterte’s foreign travels suspended amid COVID-19 pandemic

Robie de Guzman
resident Rodrigo Roa Duterte boards a vehicle as he prepares to leave for The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand for the 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit opening ceremony on June 23, 2019. Joining the President is Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Security Group (PSG) on Thursday announced that all foreign travels of President Rodrigo Duterte is suspended “for now” in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The PSG said the decision to suspend Duterte’s foreign trips, especially to countries with confirmed coronavirus cases, follows the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH).

The announcement comes after Malacañang bared that the president will undergo testing for coronavirus after exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual in an event last week. Several members of his Cabinet and some lawmakers also decided to go on self-quarantine.

In photos released to media, Duterte is seen being tested for coronavirus inside the Malacañang complex with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, his former longtime aide.

Go said he and the chief executive were tested around 5 p.m. Thursday by a medical staff from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Results of the test will be out in 48 hours, according to Go.

The senator earlier said they will undergo testing to ensure that they are fit and healthy to engage the public and perform duties in the coming days and weeks. He also said they are not showing any symptom of the virus.

The Philippines has so far recorded 52 confirmed infections with two fatalities. Two have recovered and have been discharged while 48 remain admitted at various hospitals in the country.

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