Makati Med hits COVID-19-positive Pimentel for ‘irresponsible, reckless’ actions
MANILA, Philippines — The Makati Medical Center (MMC) on Wednesday denounced Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel’s “irresponsible and reckless” actions, after the senator tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Senator Aquilino Martin Pimentel III breached MakatiMed hospital infection control protocols. March 24, 2020 -…
Pimentel admitted that he received the call from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) informing him that he tested positive while at the MMC, as his wife was expected to give birth.
However, rumors circulated that he lingered at hospital premises despite his COVID-19 positive status. He later denied the rumors.
“We denounce the irresponsible and reckless action of the senator,” the MMC said in a statement.
The institution also slammed the senator for violating the strict guidelines of social distancing, quarantine, and hygiene; thus, creating more problems for the rapidly depleting healthcare sector as the pandemic grows.
“He added to the burden of a hospital trying to respond to its most competent and aggressive manner to cope with the daunting challenges of this COVID-19 outbreak. By being in the MMC, Senator Pimentel violated his Home Quarantine Protocol, entered the premises of the MMC-DR, thus, unduly exposed healthcare workers to possible infection. As a result, a number of our nurses and doctors may need to be quarantined which will further deplete the dwindling workforce of the hospital.
“More than anything else, Mr. Pimentel should have realised the ardent desire of every well-meaning Filipino and every dedicated healthcare institution to contain the spread of the infection. His admonition for everyone to observe social distancing, enhanced community quarantine, washing of hands and personal hygiene are nothing but empty rhetoric because he himself violated all those.
“By his actions, he contributed no solution. In fact, he created another problem — for Makati Medical Center, the very institution which embraced his wife for obstetric care,” it said.
The hospital also assured the public that “the Makati Medical Center Delivery Room Complex has been decontaminated and disinfected and is now ready for use. The involved healthcare workers have been duly identified, evaluated, and will be quarantined, if the risk of exposed warrants it.
“We fervently pray that none of our healthcare staff will acquire the viral infection. As we make this wish, we plead and urge everyone to do his share in quelling the spread of this infection — especially our nation’s duly elected leaders,” it added.
Contact tracing done
In an interview over radio station DZMM, the MMC’s medical director and Interim COO Dr. Saturnino Javier said that contact tracing has been done at the MMC.
“Opo, natapos na po ‘yun. ‘Yun pong pag-contact tracing will determine kung ano po ba yung level ng inyong risk for sure, kung napakalapit niyo kay [Senator Pimentel] or his wife,” Javier said.
(Yes, we have done that. The contact tracing will determine the level of risk that you have, if you were close to Senator Pimentel or his wife.)
“We were able to track all of those. Meron po tayong iho-home quarantine. Meron din naman minimal ang exposure, nagta-trabaho po [sila] pero naka-mask (There are some who will go on home quarantine, while some have minimal exposure, meaning they are working while wearing a mask).”
Asked how many people will be subjected for quarantine, Javier answered: “Roughly mga six to eight people.”
He also had a message to Pimentel’s fellow “duly-elected officials.”
“And I think I’ll also take this opportunity to remind all our duly-elected officials to really follow what they preach, to really follow what the Department of Health advocates, and to really make sure that they do not contribute to the problem,” the doctor reminded politicians.
“And in fact, dapat sa kanila rin po manggaling ang solusyon (the solution should come from them too),” he added.
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