COVID patient eyes lawsuit

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A Pasay City resident who was diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is preparing to file charges against those who shared her test result.

The patient, who asked not to be named, told The STAR she and her family became targets of discrimination by their neighbors. She also said her test result reached other people before her own family.

The woman said she and her husband, who was experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19, were tested by a Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) on May 13 to get clearance to go back to work. 

Five days later, she received news she tested positive while her husband was negative.

The patient said a few minutes after she received the result, “there was a person who posted my picture in a group chat, with a picture of my family, with a caption that I already have COVID-19. They did not ask permission from me to post the photo.”

The group chat involved people from the neighborhood, she said. 

The Pasay City government passed last month an ordinance that would punish persons who would discriminate against and harm COVID-19 patients and frontliners. 

The patient said she is planning to file charges against those who discrimnated against her and her family and the person who divulged her test result.

“I wish that they could put themselves in my shoes, what would they do if their family is being discriminated? I just hope that they would stop posting and creating a group chat to discriminate (against) us,” she said. 

Aside from this, the patient said there is not enough running water and no food provided to patients at the Padre Burgos Elementary School, where she has been isolated for the past four days.

She added that they are self-medicating in the isolation center.

City administrator Dennis Acorda told The STAR they will investigate the patient’s complaints.


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