(Eagle News) – Makati Medical Center issued a statement on Wednesday, March 25, denouncing the “breach of protocols” by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III Tuesday night, March 24, when he brought his pregnant wife to the hospital for delivery via caesarian section.
MMC medical director Dr. Saturnino Javier said that Pimental, who turned out to be COVID-19 positive, breached “strict infection and containment protocols” at the hospital, particularly at its delivery room complex last night.
He said that by being at the MMC, Senator Pimentel violated his “Home Quarantine Protocol” when he entered the premises of the delivery room and “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,” Dr. Javier said.
“The entire Delivery Room Complex will have to undergo decontamination and disinfection before it can be used,” he said.
“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,” Dr. Javier said.
The MMC director said that Pimentel more than anyone “should have realized” the need for observing the proper protocols regarding social distancing and enhanced community quarantine measures.
He called the senator’s earlier statements and admonition on COVID-19 protocols as “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,” Dr. Javier said.
Still, the hospital director assured the public that the delivery room complex had 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,” he explained.
“We fervently pray that none of our healthcare staff will acquire the viral infection,” Dr. Javier added as he urged everyone to do his share in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, “especially our nation’s duly elected leaders.”
Pimentel said that he experienced COVID-19 symptoms on March 14. He then had a high fever on March 18, as well as sore throat and diarrhea. He was among those exposed to a COVID-19 patient at the Senate, particularly a resource person who attended a hearing on March 5.
Aside from Pimentel, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri had come out in the open to say that he had a positive COVID-19 test result.