Pimentel, 2nd senator tested positive for COVID-19; MMC denounces his alleged protocol breach
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III was confirmed positive Tuesday night for the coronavirus disease, the second senator in the country afflicted with the virus.
However, private hospital Makati Medical Center denounced the administration senator for allegedly breaching protocols by "unduly" exposing its healthcare workers to possible infection.
"I was informed late last night March 24, 2020 that I had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The swab was taken last Friday, March 20, 2020," Pimentel said in a statement.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri was the first senator who was tested positive for the virus.
Pimentel said since the last day of session in the Senate on March 11, he had tried his best to limit his movement.
Some senators had undertaken the COVID-19 test despite being asymptomatic after learning that one of the resource persons in one of the hearings was tested positive for the virus.
Saturnino Javier, MMC medical director, in a statement, said that Pimentel "added to the burden of the hospital" when he brought his pregnant wife for delivery via cesarean section in the establishment on Tuesday night.
He said that Pimentel's presence in the hospital was a violation of his home quarantine protocol.
"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," he said.
"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 care," he added.
As a result, Javier said a number of MMC's nurses and doctors may need to be quarantined which will deplete the dwindling workforce of the hospital.
Javier assured the public that the MMC Delivery Room Complex has been decontaminated and disinfected and ready for use.
In separate television interviews Wednesday night, Pimentel apologized.
Pimentel explained that he only received the confirmation of his test from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine about 9 pm on Tuesday after he brought his wife to the hospital between 6 and 7 pm.
Pimentel said he was initially under general quarantine similar to other people.
But since the situation of his wife was an emergency case, he said he had to accompany her. Celerina Monte/DMS