MANILA – The Makati Medical Center Delivery Room (MMC-DR) Complex has on Tuesday night claimed that “its strict infection and containment protocols were breached by a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.”
The MMC was referring to no other than Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, who despite testing positive of the virus (COVID-19), personally brought his wife (Kath Pimentel) for delivery of their first child by caesarian section.
“By being in MMC, Senator Pimentel violated his Home Quarantine Protocol, entered the premises of MMC-DR thus, (he) unduly exposed healthcare workers to possible infection,” MMC Medical Director Saturnino P. Javier (MD), said in a prepared statement which is circulating like wildfire now on social media.
The MMC further stressed that “As a result, the 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 will have to undergo decontamination and disinfection before it can be used,” it said.
“By his actions, he (Pimentel) contributed no solution. In fact, he created another problem for Makati Medical Center, the very institution which embraced his wife for obstetric care,” Saturnino stressed.
Meanwhile, Pimentel belied reports claiming that he sought the help of Health Secretary Francisco Duque after the MMC reportedly refused to admit his pregnant wife due to the influx of coronavirus patients.
“Sec. Duque has and had nothing to do with our getting a room and any room at the hospital,” Pimentel told reporters.
“I talked to Sec. Duque this morning, March 25, 2020, and he just asked me about my situation. By that time, I have already checked my wife, Kath, in the hospital,” he said.
Pimentel further said that his wife has been admitted between 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, and this, netizens took turns in lambasting the lawmaker who, they said, should have stayed home as he is supposedly under home quarantine.
“The good Secretary was informed of my situation apparently by my sister,” he said.
Netizens alleged that Pimentel was seen roaming around the hospital with his wife, when he should have been under self-quarantine.
But the Senator countered that he followed protocols, and quarantined himself “since the last day of session March 11, 2020,” and had “already tried my best to limit my movement.”
Under DOH protocol, however, a Person Under investigation (PUI) must complete a 14-day quarantine period.
Pimentel also said he was with his wife in the hospital when he received news that he was a carrier of the disease.
“Yes [I was with her] as she was asked to give birth this morning. I received the call from RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) when I was already in the hospital last night, hence I left immediately,” Pimentel said.
In another report by CNN PH, Pimentel said he received the call from RITM at around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Pimentel’s wife Kath is now also a Person under monitoring (PUM) and is isolated at the hospital.
Pimentel is the second senator to have contracted the disease, after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri confirmed on March 16 that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
COVID-19 has infected at least 636 patients in the country. Of those infected, 38 died, 26 recovered. (ia/sovereignph.com)