VSMMC condemns posting of unverified Covid-19 info

OFFICIALS of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) have condemned a Facebook user who posted unverified information on social media that included the names of seven people reportedly afflicted with the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a statement issued on Thursday night, March 26, 2020, VSMMC medical chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr. disclosed that their Incident Command Center was able to monitor the social media post of a certain Rommel Rosito.

Rosito, in his Facebook account, listed the names of seven people reportedly afflicted with Covid-19 in a public post and tagged several several people.

“The said post contained the sensitive personal information of data subjects attributing that they are allegedly positive with Covid-19,” Aquino said in his statement.

Rosito also included details related to the seven persons he mentioned including their ages, professions and addresses.

“We do not tolerate the act of this person. We condemn the same for being unlawful and unethical.

The posts are unverified information made without authority of the Department of Health,” Aquino added.

He said that even if a person suspected of having Covid-19 underwent testing or not, disclosing his or her personal information is a violation of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act.

Aquino said Rosito could also be sued for violation RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

“Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) has been serious in the promotion of responsible social media use and strict when incomes to implementation of Data Privacy Act in the hospital,” Aquino added.

He said VSMMC follows stringent protocols, especially on the testing of suspected Covid-19 patients.

Once the patients suspected of having Covid-19 are tested, samples are sent to the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas then to the DOH Central Office for confirmation.

“VSMMC does not have anything to do with the identities. However, we simply cannot sit idle and allow him or anyone to destroy the integrity of the Department of Health,” Aquino added.

He also urged the public to refrain from posting and sharing unverified information. (HBL/JKV)