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: April 4, 2020 - 4:09pm

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

April 4, 2020 - 4:09pm

The Department of Health reports 76 more local cases of the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the official tally to 3,094 from the previous count of 3,018.

April 3, 2020 - 12:58pm

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. assures the public that they will shoulder the full cost of treatment for all COVID-19 patients until April 14, 2020.

"The reason for this accommodation window is due to the novelty and the wide range of severity of the disease in the country for which no existing case rate or package based on accepted protocols has yet been established," it says in a statement.

Philhealth says they will issue a new set of guidelines after the final protocol is established.

April 3, 2020 - 10:22am

The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution calling for "international cooperation" and "multilateralism" in the fight against COVID-19, in the first text to come out of the international body since the pandemic's outbreak.

The resolution, which was approved by consensus, also stresses "the need for full respect for human rights" and that "there is no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic." — AFP

April 3, 2020 - 8:04am

The cruise ship Zaandam, which has dozens of ill passengers on board and was not allowed to dock in several South American countries, arrivsd Thursday in port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The liner was finally cleared for docking after long negotiations between Holland America Line, local and state officials, and the US Coast Guard, to ensure the safe disembarkation of the healthy — and the sick. — AFP

April 2, 2020 - 5:02pm

The Department of Health confirms 11 COVID-19 patients have died in the Philippines, raising the total number of fatalities to 107.

The Philippines also recorded 322 new coronavirus cases, bringing the national total to 2,633.

As of Thursday afternoon, one additional patient recovered from the deadly virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 51.

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