By JOENALD MEDINA RAYOS
THE management of Makati Medical Center (MMC) denounces Senator Aquilino Pimentel III’s visit to the hospital as irresponsible and reckless action being a COVID-19 carier himself.
In a statement released by the hospital, MMC stated that the senator breacked the strict infection and containment protocols of the Makati Medical Center Delivery Room Complex (MMC-DR) and violated his Home Quarantine Protocol.
Here is the full text of the MMC’s statement:
“Last night [24 MARCH 2020], the strict infection and containment protocols of the Makati Medical Center Delivery Room Complex (MMC-DR) were breached by a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.
Senator Aquilino Martin D. Pimentel III, whose result for COVID-19 testing turned out to be positive, brought his wife to the hospital for delivery via cesarean section. By being in MMC, Senator Pimentel violated his Home Quarantine Protocol, entered the premises of the MMC-DR, thus, unduly exposed healthcare workers to possible infection. As a result, a number of our nurses and doctors may need to be quarantined which will further deplete the dwindling workforce of the hospital. The entire Delivery Room Complex will have to undergo decontamination and disinfection before it can be used.
We denounce the irresponsible and reckless action of the senator. He added to the burden of a hospital trying to respond in its most competent and aggressive manner to cope with the daunting challenges of this COVID-19 outbreak. More than anyone else, Mr. Pimentel should have realized the ardent desire of every well-meaning Filipino and every dedicated healthcare institution to contain the spread of infection. His admonition for everyone to observe social distancing, enhanced community quarantine measures, washing of hands and personal hygiene are nothing but empty rhetoric because he himself violated all those.
By his actions, he contributed no solution. In fact, he created another problem — for Makati Medical Center, the very institution which embraced his wife for obstetric care.
We assure the public that the Makati Medical Center Delivery Room Complex has been decontaminated and disinfected and is now ready for use. The involved healthcare workers have been duly identified, evaluated, and will be quarantined, if the risk of exposure warrants it.
We fervently pray that none of our healthcare staff will acquire the viral infection. As we make this wish, we plead and urge everyone to do his share in quelling the spread of this infection — especially our nation’s duly elected leaders.’
In an interview over GMA 7’s 24 Oras newscast Wednesday night, Pimentel personally don’t know that what he did is wrong as he was only informed by the Reseach Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) at around 9:00 o’clock that his test turn positive, reason why immediately leave the hospital premises after informing the doctors and his wife.
Pimentel said that at around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, they drove to the hospital as his with Kathryna is scheduled to give birth by caesarian delivery this morning (Wednesday). And while at the hospital, he received the call from RITM informing him that he is COVID-19 positive. For this, he informed the Ob-gyne of his wife who in turned told him to leave the area.
The senator said that he just informed his wife about his status and immediately left the premises.
In an interview with GMA 7’s 24-Oras, Dr. Bong Javier, MMC’s Offiver in Charge said that they have disinfected the areas where Pimentel went and has identified the medical personnels that maybe put on quarantine if necessary.
Earlier on, Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay went on self-home quarantine when they heared that a resource person in a senate hearing on March 5 turn positive for COVID-19.
On March 12, Pimentel said that he talked to Binay and Gatchalian, but finds it is not sufficient reason for him to go on self-quarantine.
“I would love to self-quarantine! But there are things that I still need to do. I talked to both Senators Gatchalian and Binay yesterday. I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to go on self-quarantine. But should that be the proper protocol, no problem with me,” said Pimentel.
But on March 14, Pimentel said that he started getting body pains similar to flu symptoms and started isolating himself in a different room from his wife.
While he did not attend the said hearing, Senator Miguel Zubiri made public on March 16 that he was tested positive too for the virus and suspected that he got the virus from whoever he met in the senate. A day after, Gatchalian and Binay test negative for coronavirus.
On March 18, Pimentel said he had fever of about 38 degrees Celsius, had a sore throat, but no difficulty in breathing. Two days after, Pimentel had a test for coronavirus on March 20 which test was confirmed to be positive, Tuesday evening.| – BALIKAS News Network