DOH agrees Pimentel violated quarantine protocols
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday agreed with the Makati Medical Center (MMC) that Senator Koko Pimentel, who tested for COVID-19, violated the home quarantine protocols when he visited the hospital with his wife.
Pimentel drew severe backlash on social media after he was seen roaming around the hospital with his wife, who is due to give birth, despite knowing that he was already manifesting symptoms of the coronavirus disease and is supposedly under home quarantine.
The MMC, in a strongly-worded statement, chastised the senator’s “reckless” action that exposed hospital workers to COVID-19. It stressed that Pimentel added to the “burden” of the MMC’s staff responding to the coronavirus disease outbreak.
“Kami po ay sumasang-ayon na nagkaroon ng breach sa quarantine protocol at hindi dapat nangyari ito,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a virtual press briefing.
Duque added that the health department will coordinate with appropriate government agencies in resolving the issue.
“Susundan natin ang yapak ng lead agencies na inatasan upang panatalihin ang peace and order kasama na ang pag-handle ng violation sa quarantine protocol,” he said.
The health chief likewise denied reports that he gave “special favors” to Pimentel and called the MMC to have the senator’s wife admitted to the hospital.
“Sa kumakalat na balita tungkol sa pagtawag ng inyong lingkod sa MMC para tulugnan o bigyang pabor sa kung sino man, ito ay walang katotohanan. Hindi po ako tumawag sa MMC para makiusap na kanilang tanggapin sa kanilang hospital ang asawa ni Sen. Koko Pimentel,” he said.
He then appealed to all persons under investigation and monitoring for coronavirus to stay in their homes to ensure the success of the enhanced community quarantine against the contagion.
Pimentel has already apologized to the MMC for breaching the quarantine protocol.
As of date, the Philippines has 707 COVID-19 cases, 45 of whom have died while 28 recovered.
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