Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Wednesday drew criticisms, and has since apologized, to the public for accompanying his pregnant wife to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) while he was waiting for the results of his COVID-19 test.
The senator tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which lead to the anger expressed by many on social media. Pimentel testing positive and going to the MMC delivery room to accompany his pregnant wife has potentially exposed other pregnant women and health workers to the highly-contagious coronavirus.
MMC Medical Director Saturnino Javier even released a statement stating that the senator “violated his home quarantine, exposed health workers to possible infection, and therefore, to me, that is reckless and unacceptable.”
After the possibility of getting exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual on March 11, Pimentel and several senators went on a voluntary self-quarantine. However, Pimentel admitted that he went to two birthday parties, a meeting, and a Senate session when he should be on home quarantine.
He admitted that during his quarantine, he experienced high fever, slight sore throat, body pains, and diarrhea — all flu-like symptoms related to COVID-19 — prior to his test.
Pimentel had himself tested for the virus on March 20. He said he learned about the positive results while he was at the hospital with his wife Kathryna on March 24. He said he immediately informed her doctor and left the hospital.
Making rounds on social media are concerns about the senator visiting a shopping membership store in BGC. Many people are concerned as to whether he visited S&R BGC while on home quarantine.
This lead to the store reviewing their CCTV footage.
On Thursday, S&R confirmed that Pimentel went to S&R BGC on March 16.
“It was confirmed that the senator was at S&R in BGC on March 16, 2020. CCTV footage showed him checking out at counter 13 at exactly 1:59 PM,” the company wrote on a Facebook post.
“We would like to assure S&R members that we are taking measures to maintain the safety of our members. We disinfect our stores daily and ascertain that our staff are clear prior to work. Shopping carts and handles, front-end bells, item shelves, and registers are kept clean every single day. Our employees are constantly reminded of the safety precautions regarding the virus,” the post added.
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