Illegal clinic for COVID-19 Chinese patients raided in Makati
A sewer clogged with medical waste led to the discovery of an unregistered clinic in Makati City for Chinese nationals suspected to have contracted the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Policemen and city health personnel arrested David Lai, 49 and Bruce Liao, 41, who were also Chinese and claimed to be doctors, after they were caught attending to four patients at Goldstar Medical Clinic and Pharmacy Corp., located on the fifth floor of a Korean massage spa building on Sampaloc Street, Barangay San Antonio.
Found inside the clinic were rapid test kits and other medical paraphernalia such as swab sticks, vials, syringes and assorted medicine with Chinese labels that were not registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The seized items were estimated to be worth P5 million.
Lai and Liao failed to present proof that they were doctors while authorities were still checking if the company was also a registered pharmacy. According to Makati police chief Police Col. Oscar Jacildo, they received a tip about the clinic from the building’s staff.
“We were surprised when the report came to us about medical waste being collected whenever housekeeping was in the building to declog [its sewers],” Jacildo said in a television interview.
An investigation team led by Police Maj. Gideon Ines said they used a Chinese asset to get inside the clinic.
“Despite not being sick, [our asset was told by] the Chinese doctors that he might need to be confined at the clinic for possibly contracting COVID-19,” Ines said. One of the doctors also prescribed Chinese medicine for the asset’s “fever.”
Lai and Liao, who are now in detention, face charges of violating Republic Act No. 2382 (for illegal practice of medicine without a license) and RA 9711 (for prescribing and selling drugs without FDA approval) in relation to RA 1132 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act) and RA 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act).
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