Staff member of PH Mission to UN tests positive for COVID-19
By Momar G. Visaya
Asian Journal / News Partner
March 13, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Philippine Consulate General in New York; a staffer of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations tested positive for COVID-19. AJPRESS/Momar G. Visaya

NEW YORK – A staff member of the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations has tested positive for coronavirus, Mission Charge D’affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative Kira Danganan-Azucena confirmed in a message to UN colleagues Thursday, March 12.

Rumors began swirling around the local community on Thursday afternoon through various chat groups about said employee testing positive, and adding that that the Philippine Mission is in lockdown and employees were told to self-quarantine.

Azucena said that the colleague last visited the UN on Monday, March 9. She was reportedly asymptomatic then.

“She came down with flu-like symptoms and, in accordance with our office protocol, did not report for work that day and saw her doctor,” the message read. The PH Mission staffer tested positive for flu and was prescribed Tamiflu. “She got the call today that she tested positive for COVID-19,” it added.

As of late afternoon Thursday, the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue, which houses the Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Mission, was on lockdown and all personnel have been instructed to self-quarantine and to seek medical attention should they develop the symptoms (of coronavirus).

In a tweet on Friday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said the patient was “doing well; she’s young, spritely, smart and taking some doctor prescribed meds.”

The Philippine Mission has advised the UN medical director’s office of the development, as well as New York City’s health department.

Calls and emails to the Philippine Center have not been returned as of press time.

“We are assuming that all of us have been infected,” Azucena stated.

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