MANILA — After surviving the novel coronavirus, the Philippines’ youngest COVID-19 survivor has been brought back to the hospital because of other health problems.
Baby Kobe was released by the National Children’s Hospital on April 28 and was supposed to finish another 14-day quarantine at the Ospital ng Muntinlupa when his parents noticed that he was again constipated.
Constipation was the reason why the infant was brought to the hospital in the first place and it was after his condition was resolved that he tested positive for COVID-19.
However, Ronnel Manjares, the infant’s father said his condition returned.
“Lumalaki ang tiyan. Pag nakakakain sya hindi nya masyadong nailalabas, naidudumi,” Manjares told ABS-CBN on Monday.
(His tummy grew big. And when he eats, he is not able to discharge.)
ABS-CBN News was able to interview one of the doctors who handled Baby Kobe while he was still being treated for COVID-19.
Dr. Sherwin William Leonardo, a neonatologist at the National Children’s Hospital, said then that it was possible that it was a “surgical problem.” However, they were able to discharge Baby Kobe after he responded positively to the medicine and his symptoms went away.
Manjares said the infant is still being observed in case he will need surgery.
“Nagamit ko na nung una yung PhilHealth. Hindi ko alam kung magagamit ko pa po,” Manjares said, worrying that they would not have enough money for the treatment.
(I used my PhilHealth already. I don’t know if I can still use it.)
Manjares is a construction worker but because of the enhanced community quarantine, he has no source of income. He has been relying on the help of others for the last two months.
On Sunday, Sagip Kapamilya of ABS-CBN Foundation brought relief goods to the family. Manjares said the food and the diapers would suffice for a few weeks.
However, members of the foundation expressed worry for the family as Manjares and his other child are living in a makeshift structure.
Manjares admitted that he worries about potential flooding with the recent rains as they also live beside a creek.
For now, he is hoping that the outbreak in the Philippines would ease so he can go back to work.
“Kasi po hindi ko alam kung saan ako hahanap ng pagkakakitaan. Hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko po. Iniisip ko saan ako kukuha ng panggastos,” he said.
(I don’t know how I can earn a living. I don’t know what to do. I keep on thinking where I will get money for our expenses.)
Although hesitant to ask for donations, Manjares is urging fellow Filipinos to observe lockdown protocols.
“Kailangan na din po kasi matapos ang lockdown. Sana po ang mga tao wag na po masyado lalabas…Para mawala na ang lockdown. Para makapagtrabaho na po kami. Kasi nahihirapan na po kami,” he said.
(The lockdown needs to end. I hope people won’t go outside anymore…So the lockdown can be lifted. So we can go back to work. Because it’s been hard for us.)
For now, Manjares will keep on praying for the day that he is reunited with his son and wife.
For those who would want to give assistance to the Manjares family, they may contact Ronnel Manjares via 09384804426.