MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said he is free from the live novel coronavirus strain that causes the disease based on the result of his confirmatory test.
In a message to reporters, Zubiri said his PCR-based test conducted by the Philippine Red Cross yielded a negative result.
“Thank you so much for the concern and prayers! I AM NEGATIVE… Thank you to our Lord God above! My confirmatory test with the Philippine Red Cross has come out and shows that I no longer have live RNA cells of Covid-19,” he said.
“What the infectious disease experts have told us is that the DOH result yesterday possibly detected remnants of dead virus cells which is a common occurrence with recovered Patients,” he added.
The senator on Monday said he took a confirmatory test after his three rapid tests showed his body is possessing anti-bodies, and a swab test yielded positive result.
Zubiri was among the eight senators who had to undergo COVID-19 tests on Sunday as part of the safety protocols for attending President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address in Batasang Pambansa on Monday.
The test result prompted Zubiri to cancel his attendance and opted to monitor the event from home.
The senator said the Red Cross’ PCR machines can detect and differentiate live virus from the remnants of the cells.
“Studies from Europe, Asia and the US have shown that recovered patients with antibodies are no longer infectious and if COVID cells are discovered in their system it is most likely remnants of the dead COVID cells which can no longer contaminate as found in extensive studies in South Korea,” he said.
“Ibig sabihin nito ay hindi na po ito nakakahawa at ligtas po ang recovered patient habang meron pa po siyang Antibodies,” he added.
Zubiri, along with Senators Sonny Angara and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, contracted COVID-19 in the previous months but they have all since recovered.
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