Locals raise alarm vs fishy Pampanga COVID-19 hospitals exclusive for Chinese
MANILA, Philippines — Some Pampanga residents have raised fear over “underground” COVID-19 hospitals in the province supposedly exclusively catering to Chinese nationals, and in separate e-mails asked Senator Lito Lapid to conduct an investigation into the matter.
Leth Reyes, a native of Porac town, said news reports regarding these “clandestine” hospitals “worried me and my family.”
“I am also wondering why [they are] only accepting Chinese people from that hospital,” she said.
“I am but a simple homemaker. As a mother, I am in fear and disheartened that such establishments exist right in the heart of my beloved province in the midst of such uncertain times,” she added.
Meanwhile, 55-year-old Arnel Espinosa urged Lapid – a native of Pampanga who previously served as the province’s governor for three terms from 1995 to 2004 – to punish those who will be found liable in the existence of the said hospitals.
He expressed both disappointment and fear regarding the “underground COVID-19 hospitals in Pampanga which is exclusive for Chinese patients who are freely roaming the country.”
Another concerned citizen, Jason Cruz, said he is vulnerable to COVID-19 due to his health condition and expressed concerns that the Chinese patients of these hospitals “may be the ones spreading” the virus.
“I am a person who is sick and in danger because of COVID-19. It is difficult for me now because of what is happening in the country today,” he wrote in his email to Lapid.
He also said authorities should continue their investigation to apprehend and nail the people behind the illegal operation.
Another email sender, Victoria Lagman Sanchez, said she worries about her grandparents, who are currently residing in Pampanga.
“Hindi po ako makauwi sa kadahilanan ng pandemya. Sana po ay aksyunan ng inyong tanggapan ito. Patuloy po akong aasa na kayo po ay aming matatakbuhan,” she said.
Authorities have earlier raided separate illegal healthcare facilities in Parañaque City, Pampanga, and Makati City operating as hospitals and pharmacies primarily catering to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators workers and Chinese nationals.
In May, Senator Risa Hontiveros called for the immediate deportation and blacklisting of Chinese nationals involved in the unauthorized operation of these medical facilities and clinics.
“They have zero regulation…We will be putting communities at risk and waste our quarantine efforts because of these medical facilities,” she had said.
“We can never be lenient towards this reckless behavior. Buhay ng mga Pilipino ang nakasalalay (The lives of the Filipinos are at stake),” she added as she called on the government to ramp up efforts in cracking down on underground clinics.
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