Three COVID-19 patients in Quezon City were sent home because of the shortage of hospital beds in Metro Manila.
Mayor Joy Belmonte said yesterday that City Hall is now looking for the three patients, who were supposedly living in slum areas where the virus could spread quickly.
“That’s a little shocking and a little disturbing,” she told news channel ANC. “We are trying to look for ways to extract the positive persons from the rest of the group and [bring them] somewhere else.”
Belmonte added that the three, who were initially considered persons under investigation (PUIs) were sent home by the hospitals while waiting for their COVID-19 test results, which later turned out to be positive.
“The people who were tested, because there’s no place for them to stay while they’re waiting for the results, they get sent home. Even if they’re positive they get sent home. There’s a very strong possibility that even if they are PUIs they are already spreading the virus,” the mayor added.
“People are sent home even if they belong in gated subdivisions or in any socio-economic situation. They’re just sent home as a matter of formality because of a lack of space in facilities [in] which they can stay as PUIs,” she said.
Belmonte added that in the past when a person tested positive, they were picked up from their homes by the hospital. However, this practice has ceased because Metro Manila’s hospitals are overcrowded with patients.
“[Be]cause of the lack of infrastructure, they are no longer picked up. It’s up to the LGUs (local government units) to think of ways to make sure that they don’t spread the sickness,” Belmonte said.
The mayor told Rappler that two of the patients went for a consultation in a hospital in Taguig City, while another went to a Manila hospital.
“In an ideal situation, all COVID positives should be in an institution or institutionalized in a hospital, but the problem is that there’s really a lack of bed spaces in all our hospitals now,” she said.
As of press time, the Philippines has recorded 380 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, 25 of whom have died, and 17 of whom have since recovered.