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COVID Downs Top Philippine Athletes

COVID Downs Top Philippine Athletes
Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz

Physically fit as they are, champion athletes are not spared from contracting COVID-19.

Tokyo Olympics weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and mixed martial arts fighters Jeremy Miado and Robin Catalan have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. They are now undergoing quarantine.

In an Instagram story on Wednesday, Jan. 12, Diaz asked the public to remain cautious of the virus and observe health protocols.

Kahit po ako nag-positive na po. Ingat po tayong lahat. Magpalakas at sundin lahat ng health protocols (I, too, tested positive. Take care everyone. Be strong and follow all health protocols),” said Diaz.

Diaz, who has announced her plan to chase a second Olympic gold medal in Paris in 2024, got her booster shot in Quezon City on Jan. 4.

Miado and Catalan were stricken out of the ONE: Heavy Hitters card slated tonight, Jan. 14, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Miado (10-4) and Catalan (9-7) were supposed to clash with Senzo Ikeda (12-6-1) and Elipitua Siregar (4-1), respectively.

The three were among Filipino athletes and sports personalities who caught the virus recently.

Not spared were volleyball star Alyssa Valdez of Creamline, Beach Volleyball Republic founder Charo Soriano and Premier Volleyball League president Ricky Palou.

Several basketball players, coaches and team members were also infected with COVID-19.

Lawmaker catches virus

Meanwhile, another member of the House of Representatives has contracted the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Abra Rep. Joseph Sto. Nino Blando Bernos said he tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time.

“I am fully vaccinated and had my booster shot. I exhibited mild symptoms of the disease,” Bernos said.

“As advised by my doctors, I am undergoing home quarantine, isolated from the rest of my family who have all tested negative for the virus,” he added.

Other lawmakers who have contracted COVID-19 were Representatives Juan Miguel Arroyo of Pampanga, Alfred Vargas of Quezon City, Bienvenido Abante of Manila and Stella Luz Quimbo of Marikina.

Arroyo, son of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said he is asymptomatic.

More health workers isolated

Over 3,000 health care workers (HCWs) are undergoing isolation as COVID infection continues to spread, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Thursday.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said a total of 3,114 HCWs are in quarantine. The number comprised 11 percent of the 26,000 HCWs in government health facilities.

“Some hospitals closed their services such as outpatient department and elective surgery,” he said.

Vega assured the public that the situation in hospitals is still manageable.

He said uniformed health personnel would be deployed in regions requiring additional manpower.

The DOH is also cutting down the isolation and quarantine period for HCWs to prevent a possible shortage of medical frontliners.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute said its personnel with COVID-19 would undergo quarantine for seven days to protect the patients. - With Delon Porcalla, Mayen Jaymalin