Hospital slams Pimentel for violating Covid-19 protocols

THE Makati Medical Center (MMC) on Wednesday, March 25, denounced Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III for breaching the strict infection and containment protocols when he brought his pregnant wife to the delivery room complex even when he was supposed to be under quarantine.

Pimentel announced earlier Wednesday that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the highly infectious pathogen that causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

In a statement signed by medical director Saturnino Javier, the MMC said Pimentel “unduly exposed healthcare workers to possible infection” and a number of them may have to go into quarantine.

This will further deplete the dwindling workforce of the hospital, the MMC said.

“The involved healthcare workers have been duly identified, evaluated and will be quarantined, if the risk of exposure warrants it,” the MMC added.

The entire delivery room complex also had to be decontaminated and disinfected.

“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,” the hospital said.

“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,” MMC added.

PDP-Laban spokesperson Ron Munsayac said they will issue a statement.

Pimentel’s wife, Kathryna Yu-Pimentel, earlier defended her husband. She was supposed to give birth via caesarean section on Wednesday, but MMC doctors decided to postpone the procedure after they were informed that the senator has been found positive for the new coronavirus.

Pimentel, in a statement earlier, said he received the call from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) while he was at the hospital Tuesday night. He said he left the hospital immediately.

Read: Koko Pimentel tests positive for new coronavirus

Kathryna, who has been put under isolation, clarified that the senator had not known that he was positive for the virus when he brought her to the hospital. She also said her husband never entered the delivery room.

“Then RITM called him around 9 p.m. that he was positive. But he was just in the room. As soon as he found out he was positive he left me already and told my OB about his situation. For weeks now he was in self quarantine and practicing social distance,” Kathryna said.

“We don’t even share a room for 10 days already—it was only yesterday that he went with me for admission because he was also excited to see me deliver ‘sana’ which was scheduled today at 7 a.m. But was cancelled,” she explained.

Under Republic Act (RA) 11332, a person is required to disclose his or her health condition and possible exposure to diseases such as Covid-19.

Section 9 of this law penalizes those who violate this with a fine of between P20,000 and P50,000, or imprisonment of not less than one month. (MVI with Jove T. Moya/SunStar Philippines)