Surprise checks find 192 virus cases in QC hotels
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte protested on Sunday the Bureau of Quarantine’s (BOQ) lack of coordination with the local government after surprise inspections revealed there were 192 patients positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) staying at three hotels in the city.
“We have been very careful in choosing isolation facilities to avoid causing concern among residents. Then we suddenly find out in routine inspections that there are patients isolated in QC hotels without our knowledge,” she said in a statement.
City Tourism Department Action Officer Tetta Tirona earlier reported that during joint inspections conducted by City Hall personnel, they found 75 people who had tested positive for the virus staying at MC Hotel, 57 in Hotel Fox and 60 in Astrotel.
It was only during the surprise checks that the BOQ informed the city government about the patients at the two hotels who were all asymptomatic.
Astrotel, on the other hand, gave notice but only after the 60 patients, who were from Caloocan City, had checked in.
“While we welcome patients from neighboring cities who need to be quarantined, we would like to be told in advance so we can ensure their safety and security as well as those of our residents living nearby,” Tirona said.
The city’s business and permits licensing department head, Margarita Santos, also noted the hotels could not present proof of compliance with various regulatory clearances, saying that their violations “could further endanger the lives of the patients.”
Belmonte scored the BOQ for not informing them about the presence of the positive cases, saying the city government could have helped the establishments.
“Is there proper security to ensure the patients do not go out of the hotel? Are there enough health workers looking after their needs? Are there proper waste disposal protocols and infectious waste haulers to make sure the infection doesn’t spread?” she asked.
As of Saturday, Quezon City had recorded 5,878 confirmed cases, with 289 deaths and 3,161 recoveries.