This Dec. 18, 2019 photo shows Makati Medical Center, which earlier declared full capacity after handling 700 patients suspected to have the new coronavirus.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman, File
22 Makati Medical Center nurses under home quarantine
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - March 26, 2020 - 9:51am

MANILA, Philippines — Some 22 nurses of Makati Medical Center (MMC) are under home quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 patients, the hospital's medical director said.

Dr. Saturnino Javier, in an interview with ANC's "Headstart" Thursday morning, said some nurses have been cleared for work as the duration of observation has lapsed.

"Usually, we'd want them to quarantine for 14 days although there have been some guidelines already coming out," Saturnino said in a telephone interview with ANC.

According to Javier, if the health worker does not develop symptoms between five to seven days and the level of exposure is low, they can be cleared to to back to work provided that they wear a mask.

"We cannot strictly enforce the 14 days (quarantine). Otherwise we will run out of personnel," Javier said in a mix of English and Filipino.

6 to 8 MMC staff exposed to virus-infected Pimentel

Javier also noted that about six to eight MMC personnel, including doctors, residents and techinicians have been exposed to Sen. Koko Pimentel, who earlier announced that he was positive with COVID-19.

Pimentel accompanied his wife, who was about to give birth, to the hospital on Tuesday night.

The MMC medical director said there could be more staff exposed to the senator who breached the hospital's strict infetion and containment protocols.

"There could be more because we now have to determine the second layer of staff who came into contact with those people," Javier said.

On Wednesday night, MMC released a statement denouncing Pimentel's breach of protocols for entering the premises of the hospital's delivery room and exposing health workers to possible infection.

"He (Pimentel) 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," the statement read.

Earlier this week, MMC also announced that it will no longer admit COVID-19 cases as the hospital has reached its full capacity.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 28, 2020 - 6:29pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

March 28, 2020 - 6:29pm

Iran announces that 139 more people had died from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,517 in one of the world's worst-affected countries.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour says in a press conference that 3,076 more cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 35,408. — AFP

March 28, 2020 - 3:53pm

Actress Iza Calzado tested positive for the coronavirus disease, her manager says.

March 28, 2020 - 1:30pm

Toyota Makati Inc. announces that a team member tested positive for COVID-19.

"The safety and security of our employees, customers, and all of our stakeholders, is paramount to us. Keeping this in mind, and under the guidance and support of the relevant national and local authorities, we are taking immediate and comprehensive actions necessary, including disinfection of the dealership, to prevent any spread of the virus," the company says.

"Furthermore, all employees who have had close contact with the infected member have been quarantined," it adds.

March 28, 2020 - 10:43am

The United States now has more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University shows.

There have been 100,717 cases including 1,544 deaths as of 6:00 pm Eastern time (2200 GMT).

The biggest cluster by far is in New York, home to almost half the cases, overwhelming the hospital system. — AFP 

March 28, 2020 - 9:08am

Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia has tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

“I wish to inform everyone that I will have to work from home as I have been found positive for COVID-19,” Garcia says in a statement.

“I embrace this challenge with full trust and faith in God that I will overcome the same with your prayers,” he adds.

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