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Ninety-eight individuals working in the House of Representatives have tested positive for COVID-19 since Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco ordered mass testing on November 10.

House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza said the number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 represents close to five percent of the 2,000 House lawmakers and employees who underwent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing last month.

“Speaker Velasco ordered the mass testing to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the Batasan Complex, while the legislative chamber carries out its constitutional duties amid the pandemic,” he said.

Mendoza said the workers who tested positive for COVID-19 were directed to self-isolate even as “almost all” of them were asymptomatic.

The House is now coordinating with the Quezon City government for the conduct of a more extensive contract tracing, he added.

Prior to Nov. 10, the House already registered more than 80 COVID-19 cases since March. Almost all of them have recovered, except for two lawmakers and three employees who succumbed to the disease.

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