This file photo from March 2019 shows Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III speaking to media.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo, file
S&R workers now also under quarantine because of Pimentel
(Philstar.com) - March 26, 2020 - 1:38pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:42 p.m.) — Corroborating social media reports, S&R Membership Shopping confirmed Sen. Koko Pimentel was at its Taguig branch days after he started experiencing symptoms linked to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The senator has been on the receiving end of much criticism after he repeatedly breached his self-quarantine despite knowing he could be a carrier of the virus. 

RELATED: Pimentel becomes second senator to test positive for COVID-19

This comes as the latest in a row between the senator and Makati Medical Center after Pimentel accompanied his wife to the hospital on Tuesday night despite the results of a COVID-19 test still pending.

According to a statement issued on S&R Membership Shopping's Facebook page Thursday afternoon, CCTV footage placed the senator at the membership shopping center's Bonifacio Global City branch on Monday, March 16, at exactly 1:59 p.m. 

This was exactly two days after, in his own recounting, Pimentel began experiencing "flu-like symptoms," at which point he supposedly isolated himself from his family. 

"As a result, S&R employees who were in contact with the senator were already placed in quarantine [while] S&R BGC also took extra disinfection steps," the statement read.

Statement released by S&R supermarket on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

It is not clear how many workers of the shopping center were affected. 

Supermarket staff and other workers in industries related to food are exempted from quarantine restrictions are allowed to report to work.

Unlike the many that they serve, essential workers—which includes medical frontliners and staff—have to also contend with the suspension of mass transportation because of the quarantine.

Makati Medical Center: Pimentel exposed health care workers to possible infection

In a separate statement issued earlier, Makati Medical Center slammed what it said was Pimentel’s “irresponsible and reckless action.”

“By being in MMC, Sen. Pimentel violated his home quarantine protocol, entered the premises of the MMC-DR, thus, unduly exposed health care workers to possible infection,” they said.

Meanwhile, the shopping center, in their statement, assured customers that their stores and equipment were disinfected daily while employees were "constantly reminded" of the precautions and safety measures to take amid the outbreak. 

As of this writing, the national count of COVID-19 patients has eclipsed 600 after the Department of Health recorded 84 more patients on Wednesday.

This, as the country is still under a nationwide state of calamity after President Rodrigo Duterte said that the number of cases is still steadily rising despite government intervention.

The rising number of cases is expected is more patients get tested for COVID-19 — Franco Luna

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS S&R MEMBERSHIP SHOPPING SEN. KOKO PIMENTEL
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