Makati Medical Center (MMC) scored Senator Aquilino Pimentel III for breaching hospital infection control protocols when he brought his pregnant wife for delivery in the health facility.
Pimentel, who is positive with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), accompanied his wife Kathryna around 6 to 7 pm at the MMC. She is due to give birth Wednesday, March 25.
Pimentel said that at around 9 pm, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) called him to inform him of the positive test result. He immediately left the hospital, he said.
In its official Facebook post, MMC said that Pimentel entered the Delivery Room of the hospital “thus unduly exposing healthcare workers to possible infection.”
“We denounce the irresponsible and reckless action of the senator,” MMC said. Here’s the full statement of Dr. Saturnino Javier, Medical Director and Interim Co-CEO of the hospital:
MMC DENOUNCES BREACH OF PROTOCOLS
Last night [24 March 2020], the strict infection and containment protocols of the Makati Medical Center Delivery Room Complex [MMC-DR] were breached by a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.
Senator Aquilino Martin D. Pimentel III, whose result for CoViD-19 testing turned out to be positive, brought his wife to the hospital for delivery via cesarean section.
By being in MMC, Senator Pimentel violated his Home Quarantine Protocol, entered the premises of the MMC-DR, thus, unduly exposed healthcare workers to possible infection. As a result, a number of our nurses and doctors may need to be quarantined which will further deplete the dwindling workforce of the hospital. The entire Delivery Room Complex will have to undergo decontamination and disinfection before it can be used.
We denounce the irresponsible and reckless action of the senator. 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 healthcare institution to contain the spread of the infection. His admonition for everyone to observe social distancing, enhanced community quarantine measures, washing of hands and personal hygiene are nothing but empty rhetoric because he himself violated all those.
By his actions, he contributed no solution. In fact, he created another problem – for Makati Medical Center, the very institution which embraced his wife for obstetric.
We assure the public that the Makati Medical Center Delivery Room Complex has been decontaminated and disinfected and is now ready for use. The involved healthcare workers have been duly identified, evaluated, and will be quarantined if the risk of exposure warrants it.
We fervently pray that none of our healthcare staff will acquire the viral infection. As we make this wish, we plead and urge everyone to do his share in quelling the spread of this infection -especially our nation’s duly elected leaders.
Saturnino P. Javier, MD