Congress employee dies of Covid-19

An employee of the House of Representatives diagnosed with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-2019) died early Sunday, according to PBA-Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles.

Nograles said the employee, who worked at the chamber’s printing department, passed away at 1:45 a.m.

“Sad news. The HRep employee who was positive with COVID-19 passed away earlier today at 1:45AM. He was a friend who worked at the Printing Office, the son of those who work at the Committee Affairs Department, and an in-law of someone from the IPRS (Inter-Parliamentary Relations Service),” Nograles told reporters in a group message.

“At this point, let’s take a moment and pray for his soul and his family. Let us also take time to reflect that our staff and secretariat, members of the Press, visitors, and even Members could’ve been exposed. Let’s be mindful of any symptoms and do our part on the community quarantine guidelines,” he added.

House Secretary General Luis Montales also confirmed the first death linked to the coronavirus in the lower chamber of Congress.

Montales earlier said the staffer had no history of travel to any country with confirmed cases of the deadly virus, and no known history of exposure to an infected person.

“To recall, the staff has been in and out of the hospital since last year for various ailments. The staff was recently confined for community-acquired pneumonia,” Montales said.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has suspended work in the lower chamber from March 16 to April 12. PNA.GOV.PH