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  • Makati Med Denounces Koko Pimentel's Violation of Home Quarantine Protocols

    The senator tested positive for COVID-19 and accompanied his wife to the hospital.
    by Clara Rosales for SPOT.ph .
  • The Makati Medical Center (MMC) released a statement on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 denouncing Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III's violation of his Home Quarantine Protocol, in the process exposing the hospital's health workers and patients to COVID-19. The statement came after Pimentel said he had gone with his pregnant wife Kathryna to MMC's Delivery Room Complex on March 24, despite having been tested for the virus on March 20.

    "Yes (I was with Kath yesterday) as she  was scheduled to give birth this morning," the senator said in a statement. "I received the call from RITM when I was already in the hospital last night hence I left immediately," he said. The senator had fever, sore throat, body pain, and diarrhea on March 18, reports GMA News.

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    According to a report on CNN Philippines, the senator confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25. The hospital states his decision to go with his wife despite instructions for quarantine unduly exposed health workers and other patients to possible infection. This means several nurses and doctors will have to quarantine due to exposure, which will dwindle down the hospital's already limited workforce. The entire Delivery Room Complex where he and his wife were in has to be disinfected and decontaminated before anyone can enter or use the facilities.

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    Makati Medical Center medical director and interim co-CEO Saturnino P. Javier, MD says that the guidelines the senator himself advocated for against the disease "became nothing but empty rhetoric because he himself violated all those." He adds that the senator's actions "contributed no solution. In fact, he created another problem" for the institution that took his wife in for obstetric care.

    "We denounce the irresponsible and reckless action of the senator," MMC's statement read. "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. More than anyone else, Mr. Pimentel, should have realized the ardent desire of every well-meaning Filipino and every dedicated healthcare institution to contain the spread of the infection. 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."

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    Javier assures that the Delivery Room Complex has been properly sanitized and is ready for use, and the involved medical staff have been identified, evaluated and will be quarantined, if the risk of exposure warrants it. The hospital denounces the actions of the senator and states that he added to their burden of trying to respond to a major health emergency.

    He ends the statement urging everyone to follow protocols, especially the nation's leaders.

    The Department of Health and the national government earlier identified pregnant women as among those who are most at risk of being infected with COVID-19. According to a statement released by the Philippine Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (PIDSOG), while there is no evidence that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 infection, a woman's body undergoes a lot of physiological changes during pregnancy, which "predisposes pregnant women to viral infections," and may be at higher risk of severe illnesses, such as COVID-19, compared with the general population.

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    This story originally appeared on SPOT.ph.

    *Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

    Pregnant during the enhanced community quarantine? Click here for what you need to know about COVID-19 and here for your options on prenatal care.

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