MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Saturday accused the Department of Health (DOH) of blocking the arrival of Chinese doctors who were supposed to help the Philippines fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Locsin took to Twitter to complain about the health ministry's supposed halt order.
The foreign affairs chief said he sought the help of Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to send Chinese doctors in the country.
"I ASKED AMB. HUANG to send us Chinese doctors. Interpreters are no problem: Chinese General Hospital and the Metropolitan Hospital—where Yuchengcos had equity, my daughter was born there—will readily supply them. BUT DOH is blocking their arrival. DON'T PISS ME OFF. LET THEM IN," he wrote on the micro-blogging site.
ABS-CBN News has sought comment from DOH, but the agency has yet to respond.
China has given the Philippines some 100,000 COVID-19 test kits, 100,000 surgical masks, 10,000 N95 masks and 10,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The donation came just as the Philippine government sought to boost its medical supplies amid increasing cases of COVID-19, which originated in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan.
To date, the number of coronavirus infections in the Philippines is 803.
The tally, which is expected to rise because of the increased testing capacity of the country’s laboratories, include 54 fatalities and 31 patients who recovered from the disease.