A diving shop in Boracay on Monday said the presidential spokesperson “was alone” during his visit to its establishment last Saturday, amid reports that one of his security aides tested positive for COVID-19.
“None of Sec. [Harry] Roque’s other staff members were present during his dive. Following safety protocols, our equipment is dipped in disinfectant solution after every dive and each staff adheres to the COVID safety guidelines,” DiveGurus Boracay said in a Facebook post.
“We were informed that he arrived in Manila on Feb 7th and had a negative RT-PCR result. The staff who was tested positive is based in Manila and did not join in Boracay trip,” it added.
The clarification came after social media posts juxtaposed a news report of Roque’s aide testing positive for COVID-19 and a screengrab of the diving shop’s Facebook post that featured the official gearing up for a diving session.
“Naka-isolation pero nag diving sa Boracay noong weekend? ‘Yung totoo?” a post from Reddit Philippines claimed.
“ISOLATION? DUDE. HE WAS JUST DIVING HERE IN BORACAY YESTERDAY & WALKING BY THE BEACH. I mean, do we still expect for Harry Roque to speak the truth about anything?” a Twitter user claimed:
On February 7, a day after Roque arrived in Boracay, the diving shop shared pictures of him in diving gears and thanked him for “choosing” them as a place to visit.
At a press briefing on Monday, Roque reported that he is in isolation “after a member of his staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus.”
“Work from home dahil meron po tayong isang staff member na nag-test na positibo,” the Palace official said on his Monday press briefing.
“Bagamat negative po tayo kahapon nung tayo po ay nag-PCR para sana sa pagpupulong kay presidente mamaya, eh kinakailangan sumunod pa din po sa mga protocols. So work from home at isolation po muna tayo,” Roque added.
President Rodrigo Duterte met with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and addressed the nation to update them on the government’s response to the pandemic and other national concerns on Monday.
Roque, who is the spokesperson of IATF-EID, did not attend that meeting.
A person who is exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 virus is required to isolate himself/herself at least 14 days to monitor if symptoms would develop.
This was not the first time that Roque underwent self-isolation after getting exposed to COVID-infected individuals.
Last year, he placed himself under isolation in his residence after one of his security aides then tested positive for COVID-19.