Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones confirmed she tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
“As a government official and Cabinet member, and as a Filipino, it is my duty to announced that yesterday late afternoon, April 8, 2020, I was informed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medical that I am positive for SARS-VOC-2, the causative agent of COVID-19,” Briones said in a statement.
Briones said she was asymptomatic and that her body temperature, taken thrice daily, remained normal.
“It is my hope and my fervent prayer that we will recover as a nation and that our spirit of bayanihan will pull us through. With God’s grace, we will heal as one,” she added.
Metro Manila and Luzon, home to half of the country’s 100 million people, are on lockdown until April 30 to stem the spread of the pandemic that originated in China late last year.