MARCH 26, 2020 — A tertiary medical facility on Thursday placed two hospital staff under quarantine after a senator who was found positive for coronavirus roamed its facilities, further cutting down its workforce as the country battles a deadly pandemic.
Saturnino Javier, director of Makati Medical Center (MMC), said about six to eight health workers have come into close contact with Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, who tested positive for the virus, when he brought his pregnant wife to the facility for possible delivery of their first child on Tuesday. Two of the staff have been sidelined due to the level of exposure.
“Two people have been quarantined while the rest were certified fit to go back to work,” said Saturnino in an interview with One News. But the six to eight people who had contact with the senator also “have interactions with other people.”
Pimentel has issued a statement apologizing for his actions, saying he did not know he was infected with the virus when he went with his wife to the Makati Medical Center.
He also said he did not exhibit any symptoms and he immediately when he learned about the results of his coronavirus test.
However, the senator has earned the ire of netizens because he broke his 14-day quarantine protocols because he had taken a corona virus test only a few days before going to the hospital.
Javier said the hospital management has to decontaminate the entire delivery room complex to avoid transmitting the virus to other people.
“He probably meant the actual delivery room,” Javier said when asked if the senator has entered the room.
“We’re talking about the Delivery Room Complex which includes the foyer, examination rooms, and delivery rooms. Even if you don’t enter the delivery room itself, just being in the foyer and communicating with our front desk personnel… Given that interaction, the front desk personnel there will interact with other people in the unit.”
On Wednesday, hospital management criticized the senator for entering one of its facilities, unduly exposing its medical personnel and patients to the coronavirus.
In a statement, MMC denounced the senator for breaching the hospital’s ‘strict infection and containment protocols’ when he entered a delivery room where his wife was scheduled to give birth.
Javier said the hospital will leave it up to its legal team to decide on which steps to take following the incident. (Nicole Dacanay / MM)
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