Former Senator Sonny Alvarez, wife Cecile Guidote in critical condition due to COVID-19

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Former Senator Sonny Alvarez and wife, PETA founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 31) — Former Senator Heherson "Sonny" Alvarez and his wife, theater group founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez have been confirmed to have COVID-19, the Department of Agrarian Reform said Tuesday.

The agency which Alvarez headed from 1986-1987 said employees have offered prayers for his recovery upon learning that he and his wife, the founder of the Philippine Educational Theater Association, were in "critical condition" and are currently intubated in a hospital in Manila.

Alvarez, now 80, previously served as congressman for Isabela province. Meanwhile, his wife Cecile developed a program for national theater which won her a Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1972.

READ: Former Senator Alvarez accepts Enrile's challenge to debate on Marcos' martial law

There are 1,546 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country as of Monday afternoon, which led to 78 deaths. Senior citizens, especially those with existing health issues, are most vulnerable to the disease which mainly targets the lungs.