Health dept shuns solon’s call to publish names of virus patients


Posted at Aug 05 2020 11:44 AM | Updated as of Aug 05 2020 11:45 AM

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MANILA — The Department of Health said Wednesday it “cannot just” publish the names of patients with COVID-19, contrary to the suggestion of a lawmaker.

Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said the DOH should identify COVID-19 patients “not to publicly ridicule them,” but to instead help trace those who had close contact with them.

“We cannot just do that,” Health Spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ANC.

“Even though we have the law on the notifiable diseases, we have the data privacy law here in the country and we will be violating some of the provisions of this law if we do that,” she said. 

The DOH can instead provide data on patients to contact tracers, said Vergeire. 

Coronavirus infections surged past the 100,000 mark this weekend, as medical workers appealed for a “breathing space” by tightening Metro Manila’s pandemic lockdown as they warned the health system was on the verge of collapse. 

Heeding their call, President Rodrigo Duterte placed 27 million people in the region and 4 surrounding provinces under the second strictest lockdown level until Aug. 18.