• Melo Acuna

President Duterte vows to investigate private hospitals

President Duterte orders the investigation of private hospitals who refused to admit COVID-19 cases

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte called on government institutions to investigate reports nine private hospitals who reportedly refused to admit suspected COVID-18 patients.

In his late night address Thursday, President Duterte said he could not imagine hospitals getting selective in admitting sick individuals.

“I have called on the Department of Health to investigate these hospitals,” he said. The president said he believes hospitals are sanctuaries and in times of crisis, they cannot refuse admission of sick persons.

He added while he understands the concerns of these private hospitals that other patients may be afflicted with COVID-19, he said the hospitals can segregate COVID-19 patients from other persons with different ailments.

President Duterte also deplored the behavior of several Filipinos who continue to defy the Enhanced Community Quarantine (EQC) in Metro Manila and the entire island of Luzon. He said it is incomprehensible for people, during the lockdown, could still enjoy cockfighting and drinking sprees.

He said drastic measures may be implemented by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to restore order amidst reports of heavy private vehicular traffic in the region’s main thoroughfares.

“Am asking the general public to heed our call for social distancing, for staying home so I need not call on the police and military to strictly enforce the provisions of the Enhanced Community Quarantine,” he explained. He said social distancing and other COVID-19 preventive measures need to be strictly followed.

He further said he doesn’t want to declare Martial Law in Metro Manila. However, should the situation remain uncontrolled, he would call on the uniformed services to restore order and discipline.

He said should the curve manifests positive changes, he may, should the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommend, they may partially lift the lockdown declared in the island of Luzon.

He lamented he could not fly to his home city, Davao City, because Mayor Sara Duterte, his daughter barred incoming flights to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus in her area of responsibility.

He added he is saddened he could not attend the birthday of his long-time partner and his grandchild, who are to celebrate their birthdays.

“It pains me not to join them but I have to respect orders for the common good,” he further said.

He added the Luzon lockdown, scheduled until April 30, “is just a couple of days from now and would need everyone’s cooperation to flatten the curve.”

The Department of Health reported 5,660 positive COVID-19 cases with 435 recoveries and 362 deaths as of late Thursday afternoon. (Melo M. Acuña)

President Rodrigo Duterte. (Screen grab from RTVM-PCOO)

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