Lawyer brands prov'l hosp as COVID-19 "epicenter" in Quezon, now with 48 cases

April 18, 2020

LUCENA CITY--- Citing confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in several towns of Quezon province where 25 carriers are health workers, a private lawyer accused a provincial hospital of being the leading source of the deadly virus.

In a live video footage, lawyer Russel Miraflor assailed the administration of Quezon Medical Center (QMC), which is run by the provincial government, for being lax and negligent.

Saying it lacks financial support from the provincial government, Miraflor accused the hospital of being unprepared in fighting the pandemic.

In a text message, the feisty lawyer said that lately, QMC appears to be the "epicenter" of the dreaded virus in Quezon province because many of the health workers who tested positive of the virus works in the said hospital

With that, Miraflor said it’s no longer logical to arrest people roaming on the streets and have them detained because the virus now emanates from the hospital.

He mentioned the confirmed cases in his hometown of Candelaria who got infected by the respiratory disease inside QMC.

"It’s ironic that instead of curing its patients, the hospital even adds life threatening disease to them", said Miraflor in his text message.

But Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief, Dr. Grace Santiago branded Miraflor's allegations as exaggerated and baseless.

"Firstly, the personnel of QMC, especially the doctors are not lax and negligent because they do their job seriously and carefully", said Santiago.

Secondly, the hospital has sufficient budget to purchase necessary medical equipment like personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks but the problem is on their deliveries.

"That's why we ask help from Department of Health (DOH) and private sectors. Remember that these equipment are being imported abroad", she said.

Santiago reputed Miraflor's claim that QMC is apparently the epicenter of COVID-19 in the province, saying "it does not hold water".

To make it clear, Santiago explained that Quezon as of 1 p.m. today (Satutday)) has 48 confirmed carriers of the virus.

Out of 48, the IPHO chief said 25 are health workers. Of the 25, she said 12 work in private hospitals, 9 in QMC and 4 in other government medical facilities.

"The figure clearly shows that not all, not even half of the health workers are from QMC", she said.

Santiago also belied earlier reports in the social media that QMC was locked down, saying the medical facility continues to accept both COVID and non- COVID patients.

For the fault finders, Santiago posted a statement expressing her sentiment. A portion of it says:

“We have sick people becoming positive for the infection and we blame hospitals for catching it. Yet we don’t blame the people outside the health facility who turned positive even without any history of exposure nor travel.”

“Maybe it’s also a wake up call. If we do not tell the truth about our condition, who will suffer? Our family, relatives, community and yes our health care workers who put their lives on the line to interview us, physically examine us.”

“And we lie, because we are afraid to be isolated, afraid to be removed from our family and community. Yet not afraid to spread the virus by lying and endangering more hcws who believed our story.”

“Bottom line, everybody is a potential carrier, everybody is susceptible to acquire the illness, the virus is everywhere and the only protection we have is to be part of the solution- stay at home, do social distancing.”

“Don't be the donkey that a soldier should carry just to make this quarantine work.”

“Malay n'yo 'yong madaldal at di mapigil mambatikos ng kapwa ang may dala ng virus!”