A pregnant patient who allegedly lied about COVID-19 exposure caused the second floor of the Ospital ng Malabon to close.
The second floor, which comprises the hospital’s Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and delivery and operating rooms are temporarily closed for disinfection. There will be no operations on said floor for the time being. It will be reopened on Monday, May 25.
“Ikinalulungkot naming ibalita na kailangan natin muling isara ang ilang operasyon sa Ospital ng Malabon,” Malabon Mayor Lenlen Oreta said on a Facebook post.
The closure was caused by a pregnant woman from Caloocan City’s Barangay 12 who gave birth in the hospital. Before bringing her to the delivery/operating room, she said she had no exposure to anyone who was confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 and was experiencing no respiratory symptoms.
However, she did not disclose that her barangay was in complete lockdown due to COVID-19 cases. As of this writing, Barangay 12 in Caloocan City had 41 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the highest number in the city.
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The patient was later found positive for COVID-19 via rapid diagnostic test kit. The result of her confirmatory test is still pending.
“So lahat na ng tanong para kung malaman mo kung may COVID ang isang tao o wala ay medyo nagsinungaling siya,” Malabon Public Information Chief Bong Padua told 24 Oras on Wednesday, May 20.
Officials are now conducting contact tracing, and testing individuals that the patient have come in contact with. The 13 healthcare workers who were exposed to the woman are now under quarantine.
According to Caloocan city administrator Oliver Hernandez, Ospital ng Malabon is the nearest hospital to the pregnant woman’s house. “Since it is an emergency, pinapayagan siyempre lumabas’ yung ganiyang cases na lalo na’t manganganak pa,” he said on the report.
The patient has been referred to the local government of Caloocan City, while her newborn baby remains at Ospital ng Malabon.
Tha Malabon government is preparing to file charges against the woman. Under the Republic Act No. 1132 or "The Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Concern Act," non-cooperation of persons and entities in reporting notifiable diseases, like COVID-19, can be penalized with Php20,000 to Php50,000 and six months jail time.
Mayor Oreta also reiterated his appeal to the public to tell the truth about any symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 to avoid medical frontliners from getting infected.
"This is not a joke. Maraming buhay ang nalagay sa panganib dahil sa kamalian ng isang tao. Please be honest. Anumang sintomas o exposure history, say it. ‘Wag niyo nang hawaan ang iba lalo na ang mga medical frontliners natin,” he stressed.
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Last month, in April, the Ospital ng Malabon was also closed down after some of its medical staff tested positive for COVID-19.