Senator Richard Gordon on Monday pushed for clear guidelines that local government units should follow in case a constituent infected with COVID-19 asks for help.
He demanded such a mechanism after the Philippine Red Cross, which he chairs, rescued a nurse who got reportedly kicked out from her dorm when she tested positive for COVID-19.
“Ito ay storya ng discrimination. ‘Wag niyong gagawin ito sa kapwa natin Pilipino. Lahat ng tao dapat tinutulungan natin. Mukhang mali ang polisiya ng gobyerno," Gordon said in a statement.
Nurse “Gem” should have been immediately turned over by barangay officials to isolation facilities when she sought assistance, Gordon said.
“Lumalabas, walang policy ang gobyerno. ‘Di nate-train ang barangay para alam nila kung ano ang gagawin 'pag may ganyang kaso,” he added.
The nurse was said to have informed her landlady regarding her medical condition on August 2 and was allegedly asked to leave the dorm within the day.
She ended up vacating her room at 9 p.m. and looked for a temporary shelter.
“Noong naghahanap po ako ng matutuluyan ko, wala po akong makita sa Makati. Hanggang doon po ako nakarating sa Pasay, dun po ako naka-check in,” the nurse was quoted as saying in the statement issued by Gordon’s office.
Because her family is in Batangas, “Gem” supposedly sought help from a health center in Barangay Olimpia in Makati City but to no avail.
“Noong pumunta po ako, ang sabi sa ‘kin, sarado raw ang barangay health center... Ang sabi po sa ‘kin, ‘Sinasabi ko sa’yo, ‘di ka matutulungan dito.’ May binigay sa ‘kin na contact number. Landline po, kaya di ko po ma-contact,” she said.
The nurse was eventually rescued by the Red Cross after being referred to by a friend. She was found sitting on a gutter, waiting for help to arrive.
The Department of Health recently launched the One Hospital Command system for seamless referral of COVID-19 patients to isolation facilities and hospitals across Metro Manila.
The public may reach the command center through the Pure Force Citizens mobile app, QR codes, and hotlines 0919-977-3333, 0915-777-7777, or (02) 886-505-00. — Dona Magsino/RSJ, GMA News