DOH: Don’t post names of COVID-19 patients on social media
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health warned the public and government officials not to post the names of coronavirus disease patients on social media so as not to breach the Data Privacy law.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday said public and government officials should refrain from the “practice of stigmatizing and discriminating against our patients.”
“Ito ay warning doon sa mga taong nagpapalabas ng listahan ng mga pangalan ng mga pasyente natin for COVID-19,” she told reporters in an online media forum.
(This is a warning to people who release the list of names of COVID-19 patients.)
“I’d like to call on the general public and also our officials na sana mas maging considerate tayo doon sa estado ngayon ng ating mga pasyente with COVID,” Vergeire added.
(We should be more considerate of the plight of our patients with COVID.)
Vergeire issued the statement following reports that a list of COVID-19 patients is circulating online.
She assured the public that patients who have already finished their isolation and quarantine can no longer infect other people.
The law on notifiable diseases also only allows the sharing of a patient’s information to other officials so that they can provide proper intervention but there is no provision as to the release of the list of names to the public.
Vergeire said the release of names to the public is not allowed under the law, especially under the Data Privacy law.
“We are violating ‘yung karapatan ng isang tao to confidentiality and ‘yung kanyang privacy. Sana hindi na maulit,” she said. “We would like to have that respect for the rights of our patients with COVID-19.”
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