Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has tested positive for the coronavirus, she announced today.
“At the moment, I am in good condition and experiencing no symptoms,” Belmonte said in Filipino, in a statement released by the Quezon City government.
The mayor did not disclose when she took a coronavirus test or got her results, but said that she is “thankful that I discovered [my condition] immediately.”
“I’m strictly following quarantine protocols set by the Department of Health. The QC Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit has also started contact tracing procedures,” she said.
Belmonte added that she has ordered the shutdown and disinfection of her office, along with common areas in the City Hall.
The 50-year-old mayor attributed the possible cause of her infection to “visits to health centers and hospitals, special concern lockdown areas, and to (sic) communities to better understand their needs.”
She reminded her constituents to continue wearing face masks, wash their hands frequently, and exercise social distancing. Belmonte assured residents that while she is on quarantine, the local government will continue with its service.
“May this [my condition] serve as a reminder that COVID-19 is a really unique illness that we should guard against completely,” she said.
Back in March, Belmonte was criticized for her sluggish response in distributing aid to her constituents to help them cope with the pandemic during the start of the lockdown. Then in April, she apologized for saying that her critics have no obligation to benefit from her projects.
The largest city in Metro Manila, Quezon City continues to record the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the capital. As of Tuesday, cases have reached at least 3,869 with 247 deaths, and 2,214 recoveries.
Earlier this week, Quezon City was misidentified by the Department of Health (DOH) as one of four emerging hotspots in Metro Manila, citing old data from June.
While the DOH corrected that the cities are not emerging hot spots and that cases in Makati, Marikina, and Muntinlupa have declined significantly, it said that it is still “closely monitoring” Quezon City because its COVID-19 cases have increased by 34% according to a July 5 report. DOH did not specify when the July 5 data was measured.