MANILA - A group representing some 900 private hospitals in the country on Thursday denounced Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who accompanied his wife to the Makati Medical Center despite carrying the new coronavirus.
Pimentel claimed he learned about his positive test result only when he was already at the MMC last March 24, but admitted showing symptoms of COVID-19 days before.
“This incident is unnecessary and very preventable had Sen. Koko Pimentel composed himself and had he placed foremost in his mind the well-being of the hospital staff,” Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, said in a statement.
“We urge all of those in the corridors of power to please walk your talk as you yourselves are the very authors and implementors of how the health of the citizens are protected.”
The MMC earlier denounced Pimentel for “unduly exposing” its medical staff to possible infection by accompanying his wife to the hospital Tuesday night.
At that time, the senator was awaiting results of a COVID-19 test, conducted 4 days earlier because he had shown symptoms of the disease.
Echoing the MMC, the PHAP said the senator’s presence at the hospital put the latter’s work force “at risk.”
In issuing a statement on his positive result on Wednesday, Pimentel urged the public to “observe social distancing and enhanced community quarantine measures.”
Dr. Saturnino Javier, the MMC’s medical director, described such statement as “nothing more than empty rhetoric because he himself violated all those.”
A review of the hospital’s CCTV footage showed 6 to 8 people were exposed to the senator during the visit, Javier said.