Pimentel apologizes over breach of Makati hospital safety protocol

(Eagle News)–Senator Koko Pimentel on Thursday, March 26, apologized to the Makati Medical Center for breaching the hospital safety protocol against the coronavirus disease 2019.

“I apologize to MMC for being in their hospital [in] the evening of March 24, 2020 which they deemed to be a breach of their safety/containment protocols,”  Pimentel said in a statement.

According to Pimentel, he “never intended to breach any protocol but I realize now that my presence in MMC unnecessarily caused additional anguish and concern to the courageous frontline health workers we all depend on.”

“I was simply there to be with my wife during the birth of our daughter,” he said, noting that he was wearing a face mask and gloves at the time he was in the hospital.

He added that “no doctor ordered my COVID testing,” and that it was his “own initiative, as an expectant father, after learning that my other colleagues had themselves tested and out of precaution because I was living with a pregnant wife who was nearing the time of childbirth.”

He added he never exhibited persistent cough nor fever.

“I shall be open to any communication the MMC would want to have with me about this. I just ask for everyone’s understanding and compassion and allow me first to recover from COVID-19,” he said, as he asked the MMC to take care of his wife and the baby “even when they say that I have breached their protocols.”

Pimentel issued the statement a day after he announced he had COVID-19, and came under fire for accompanying his pregnant wife to the hospital despite then being a patient under investigation.

Earlier,  MMC Medical Director Dr. Saturnino Javier slammed Pimentel for his actions.

“He violated his home quarantine, exposed health workers to possible infection, and therefore, to me, that is reckless and unacceptable,” Makati Medical Center Medical Director Saturnino Javier said in a television interview.

Pimentel earlier asked for understanding, saying he was “excited” about his wife giving birth.

He denied entering the delivery complex of the hospital, but Saturnino said he did.

Pimentel said he immediately left the hospital after learning about his  diagnosis  around 9 p.m. on Tuesday.