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Senator Positive of COVID-19 Breached Quarantine, Went Partying And Barged Into Hospital

“I’m not spreading droplets so there’s no need to be anxious,” he defended.

  • A Senator in the Philippines, Aquilino Pimentel III announced to the public that he was tested positive of the coronavirus.
  • Filipino netizens expressed outrage against Pimentel because he admittedly did not observe self-isolation and has been loitering around the metropolis.
  • Pimentel and his pregnant wife barged into a private hospital without letting the doctors and nurses know that he is infected of the virus.

Filipino netizens are asking for Senator Aquilino Pimentel III’s resignation for breaching coronavirus quarantine protocols and therefore exposing doctors, nurses, and fellow lawmakers from the deadly infection. What made the Filipinos even angrier is that Pimentel, a staunch ally of the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, has been loitering around the metropolis while waiting for his coronavirus test result.

The incident also happened after the United States announced that people who intentionally spread the dreaded disease could face “criminal charges” under its “federal terrorism law.”

According to a report from Philippine news sources, Pimentel accompanied his pregnant wife, who may be also infected of the virus, to the Makati Medical Center without advising the doctors and nurses that he has the symptoms and he has been waiting for his COVID-19 test result.

Reports stated that while he was in the hospital, Pimentel allegedly loitered around the area before receiving a call from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) advising him that his result is positive. Upon hearing the news, the lawmaker said he immediately left his wife and the hospital to go home and self quarantine. Prior to his visit to the hospital, Pimentel admitted that he attended two birthday parties and one meeting. He, however, did not disclose the dates of these events.

“I’m not spreading droplets so there’s no need to be anxious. I understand the fears, but people should not discriminate because that’s what I am experiencing now,” Pimentel told a local newspaper.

Makati Medical Center director Dr. Saturnino Javier said that Pimentel’s explanations are not valid since he clearly violated the Health Department’s protocol that a person under investigation (PUI) must complete a 14-day quarantine period.

Javier also issued a strongly-worded statement against the lawmaker, describing his actions as “irresponsible and reckless.”

“He added to the burden of a hospital trying to respond in its most competent and aggressive manner to cope with the daunting challenges of this COVID-19 outbreak. More than anyone else, Mr. Pimentel should have realized the ardent desire of every well-meaning Filipino and every dedicated health-care institution to contain the spread of the infection,” Javier said in a statement.

Javier also added that Pimentel’s previous call for everyone to observe social distancing, enhanced community quarantine measures, washing of hands, and personal hygiene are just merely “empty rhetoric,”as the lawmaker violated those himself.

The hospital eventually sent home 6 to 8 doctors and nurses to observe self-isolation. The hospital was likewise forced to stop any activities in the entire delivery room to make way for decontamination and disinfection procedures.

Filipino social media netizens couldn’t contain their rage against the Senator.

The lawmaker, however, still denied that he violated the country’s coronavirus self-quarantine protocol.

Pimentel was also accused of demanding special treatment, when some doctors claimed that he called Health Department Francisco Duque III, when Makati Medical refused to admit his pregnant wife.

So far, since the virus broke out in the Philippines, nine medical practitioners already died from the virus. Majority of the deaths are due to patients lying on their symptoms and travel histories.

The Philippine law stated that anyone who violates the law on CoronaVirus protocols, a person may be “penalized with a fine of not less than P20,000 ($390) but no more than P50,000 ($980) or imprisonments of not less than a month but not more than six months, or both, at the discretion of the proper court.”

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