By Hannah Torregoza
A day after earning the ire of the public, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday expressed his sincere apology to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) for breaching their safety protocols on the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 when he chose to accompany his wife to the hospital for a scheduled delivery.
Pimentel said he never meant to harm anyone and insisted he only knew the result of his COVID-19 test while he was already inside the premises of the MMC’s delivery room complex.
“Once again, I would like to sincerely and profoundly apologize to the management and staff of the Makati Medical Center for this unfortunate incident. I never intended to do any harm to anyone,” Pimentel said in a statement.
“I shall be open to any communication the MMC would want to have with me about this. I just ask for everyone’s understanding and compassion and allow me first to recover from COVID-19,” Pimentel said.
The MMC earlier released a statement denouncing the senator for breaching their safety protocols when he went to the hospital despite already experiencing symptoms and is still awaiting the results of the COVID-19 test which he said he took on March 20.
Pimentel accompanied his wife, Kathryna to MMC around 6 to 7 p.m. on March 24. According to the senator, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) called him at 9 p.m. of the same day, to inform him he is positive of COVID-19.
“I was already inside the hospital when I got the information. I immediately informed the OB-gyne doctor assisting my wife about the result and I then left the hospital premises,” he said.
He also claimed he was not coughing and didn’t have a fever the short time he was in the MMC premises and was wearing face mask and gloves.
“My wife is still under the care of MMC. I ask that they take care of her and the baby still inside her tummy even when they say that I have breached their protocols,” he said.
“I never intended to breach any protocol but I realize now that my presence in MMC unnecessarily caused additional anguish and concern to the courageous frontline health workers we all depend on. I was simply there to be with my wife during the birth of our daughter,” he stressed.
He added that no doctor ordered him to take the COVID-19 testing. “It was my own initiative, as an expectant father, after learning that my other colleagues had themselves tested and out of precaution because I was living with a pregnant wife who was nearing the time of childbirth,” the lawmaker said.