As of July 8, 2020, there are almost 12 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and almost 48,000 of these cases are in the Philippines. Many of those who have been infected with the deadly disease are living in Metro Manila, and several currently-seated officials of the government, both national and local, have contracted the disease as well.
Most notable are Senators Sonny Angara, Migz Subiri, and Koko Pimentel—who was also criticized for accompanying his pregnant wife to the hospital even though he was supposed to be in quarantine. (Read: Angara, Zubiri donate blood plasma to help fellow COVID-19 patients) As for the local government, Daanbantayan, Cebu City Mayor Sun Shimura recently announced that he was infected by COVID-19 along with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chang.
And today, July 8, another local government official is added to the list of public servants who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City announced that she was COVID-19-positive despite her strict adherence to health protocols mandated by the Department of Health (DOH) and other health experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO). (Read: Pandemic 101: A Glossary of All Coronavirus-Related Terms)
“Nangyari po ito sa kabila ng aking ibayong pag-iingat, pagsusuot ng facemask, madalas na paghugas ng kamay, at social distancing,” Mayor Belmonte said. (Read: Here’s why you should dry your hands with paper towels instead of automatic hand dryers)
She says that she isn’t experiencing any flu-like symptoms but is now under quarantine. She also added that this was not entirely a surprise to her, seeing that her job required her to go out in public to attend to the needs of her constituents.
Mayor Belmonte assured that her office and all common areas in Quezon City Hall are closed in the meantime for disinfection. The Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit are likewise starting the contact tracing procedure to find anyone who had been in contact with the mayor in the past 14 days.
Currently, Metro Manila holds the top spot for most cases in the country, with a total of 20,100 recorded cases—or almost half of the total recorded cases in the Philippines.
Despite the spike in cases, the DOH says that the fatality rate due to the coronavirus has decreased from around 10% at the start of the pandemic to about 2.9%.