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Palace scoffs at claims COVID-19 deaths were being concealed

Malacañang on Sunday belied “false news” that a certain hospital had been ordered by the government to conceal the accurate number of deaths from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the allegation was “bereft of logic as well as of common sense.”

“What would the government get from concealing the actual number of deaths due to COVID-19? The government is precisely interested in knowing the number of deaths so that we will know the status of our fight against the coronavirus and we can undertake measures to improve our health system,” he said in a statement.

In an Instagram post on Saturday, GMA News broadcaster Arnold Clavio claimed that the East Avenue Medical Center had been ordered to stop reporting COVID-19 deaths as bodies allegedly piled up in the hallways.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the East Avenue Medical Center, and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles immediately denied the allegations.

“The policy of the President as pronounced by him in his television message to the nation is to be transparent to the Filipino people on any aspect of governance, particularly as in the present crisis,” Panelo said.

The Palace also reminded Filipinos, “especially those who are prominent media practitioners,” to be responsible in posting unverified information online. — DVM, GMA News