National Center for Mental Health orders exec to stop issuing statements on hospital’s COVID-19 situation
MANILA, Philippines — The Mandaluyong City-based National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) on Wednesday ordered one of its officials to stop speaking on behalf of the hospital, regarding its current situation on dealing with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a letter addressed to the facility’s chief administrative officer Clarita Avila, it read that she was not the spokesperson for the NCMH, nor is she a member of the hospital’s COVID-19 committee or of the NCMH’s expanded management committee.
Rolando M. Cortez, the hospital’s medical center chief II who wrote the letter, also cited the Department of Health’s memorandum No. 2020-0110, wherein it ordered all public and private hospitals, as well as other healthcare facilities to release information of any suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 patient, prior to the reporting of the DOH and of the local government unit concerned.
This comes after Avila was quoted in a news report, wherein she revealed that some of the hospital’s staff have contracted COVID-19, while some psychiatrists were placed under self-quarantine.
“The DOH was surprised that you are going around various media outlets and speaking about COVID-19 issues when you are not the spokesperson of the hospital or authorized to do so,” Cortez stated.
“You are hereby ordered to refrain from issuing a statement about COVID-19 because this function is under DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire,” Cortez added.
As of Thursday, the country’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 3,870, where, of which, 182 succumbed to the disease and 96 managed to recover.
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