Boxing champion and Philippines senator Manny Pacquiao has tested negative for COVID-19, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus. Pacquiao had put himself and his family in home isolation for the past week after appearing in a special senate session on Monday. In a letter to Pacquiao on March 27, Dasmariñas Village barangay chairman Rossanna Hwang said that Pacquiao was exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and was considered a "person under monitoring."
According to a statement, Pacquiao used a rapid testing kit from South Korea. "My countrymen, I would like to make it clear that even before I received the letter from [Barangay Captain Rossana Hwang], I already started home quarantine," Pacquiao said. "Please don't worry. I received rapid testing kits from my friends from South Korea. Using these kits approved in Korea, I tested negative. The FDA hasn't approved them yet but these are what's used in Korea."
Though Pacquiao has tested negative for the virus, he will undergo a swab test if should experience symptoms -- something of which he has not yet shown signs. The senator also said that more test kits and medical supplies were on their way to healthcare workers. Pacquiao was supposed to turn over 57,600 test kits from billionaire Jack Ma to his foundation before being quarantined.
As of Sunday, the Philippines Department of Heath has reported more than 1,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 71 of whom have died from the infection and 42 recoveries.