Conflicting claims: San Juan gov't denies police report of escaping COVID-19 patient


Posted at Mar 13 2020 08:08 PM

MANILA - San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora on Friday dismissed reports that a woman who tested positive of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) attempted to evade hospital admission.

The patient went to her preferred private hospital after finding out on Wednesday, March 11 she had contracted the disease, he said.

However, the hospital could not accommodate the patient so she was instead escorted by local authorities to a different hospital for immediate treatment, Zamora added.

"She is now in stable condition and receiving proper care and treatment," the city mayor said in a statement.

Earlier Friday, National Capital Region Police Office Regional Director Debold Sinas said a patient escaped her police escorts as she wanted to go to a hospital of her choice.

He added the negotiation between the policeman, the woman and her husband took about 3 hours.

“Na-test na siya na positive kaya dadalin na siya sa Quirino hospital. Ayaw niya, gusto niya sa St. Luke's hospital kasi pangit yung doon. Tinanggihan siya sa St. Luke's,” Sinas said.

Sinas said negotiation between the woman and her husband took about 3 hours.

"DOH ang nag inform sa kaniya kasi nga may protocol. Now sinabi niya gusto niya hospital niya. Ang point pa doon may provision tayo kung saan lang hospital na dapat dalin yung mga nag-positive ng COVID-9."

He pointed out that the woman should not have escaped just because she didn't like the hospital she was brought to.

"Kung tingin niya di maganda yung accommodation 'di kausapin niya yung management, hindi siya tatakas spreading the virus," he said.

By escaping, Sinas said the woman had exposed other people to potential infection.
He said all those in the couple's home, as well as police personnel who negotiated with them, are now persons under monitoring.

"Panigurado namin na yung tao namin hindi makapag-spread kaya kinausap namin San Juan, pwede ba gawin na silang persons under monitoring, 14 days lang naman yun. They will still function," he said.

Sinas said they will not let the incident slide and would file charges against the couple.

"Kung sinabi niyang hindi siya tumakas, nasa kanya yun 'di ba? She'll just answer later on kung anong kaso ipa-file namin...the mere fact that you already threatened the community natin by spreading the virus," he said.

Meanwhile, San Juan has recorded another case of COVID-19, bringing the number of infection in the city to 9.

All patients are recuperating in hospitals and currently in stable condition, Zamora said.

It was not yet clear if the new patient is part of the country's 52 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The city government also didn't give further details about the new positive case.

The new strain of coronavirus has infected more than 125,000 people and killed 4,600 others in 117 countries and territories, latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed.