by Dulce Leonor V. Torralba
TWO female residents of Olongapo have tested positive of the Wuhan Virus (COVID19), bringing the city’s total to 7, the Olongapo Covid-19 Task Force headed by Mayor Rolen C. Paulino, Jr. announced today.
In a statement, the Task said Patient 6 is a 55-year-old who “was admitted at James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital on April 2, 2020 and was listed as PUI due to difficulty of breathing” and that she is in isolation and stable condition.”
Patient no. 7 is a 36-year-old doctor from the city, working in a hospital in Bataan province where she is now confined, and also in stable condition.
With one (1) patient already recovered from the virus, Olongapo has now some 121 PUI and 187 PUM (Person Under Monitoring).
The doctor has caused a stir in the Subic Bay Freeport when it was learned that yesterday (April 13), she went shopping at the Royal Choices Duty-Free in the Freeport’s Central Business District, despite a pending result of a test conducted on her for the virus. She tested positive today.
This prompted the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to order the shutdown of the Royal Choices Duty-Free Shop to undergo “thorough disinfection.”
Also, effective today, holders of Quarantine Passes issued by various local government units will no longer be allowed to shop in “any establishment in the Freeport” as an added precautionary measure to avoid the spread of the virus.
In another development, the LandBank of the Philippines in the Subic Bay Freeport, just across the Royal Choices Duty Free Shop along Manila Ave. near the Rizal Gate, will also temporarily stop operations starting tomorrow in connection with the COVID19-positive doctor’s shopping.
“Landbank will be closed tomorrow and Thursday for disinfection and as a precautionary measure since most of their staff went to Royal and came back to the bank premises during their break time yesterday,” SBMA Sr. Deputy Administrator Atty. Ramon Q. Agregado told SBMA department heads.
“Accordingly, the release of salaries scheduled tomorrow will be delayed until Friday, at the earliest,” Agregado said.
Over 1000 SBMA employees, and their families, are expected to be affected by the salary release delay.
Social media reactions on the doctor’s “irresponsible act” has been mainly hostile, exacerbated by the fact that she is a doctor and a front liner.
“Frontliner ang dapat unang nakaaalam ng protocol,” a comment at the Freeport’s COVID19 Watch on Facebook said.
Local Lawyer Batch Perez said he will take up with the local Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) the possibility of filing charges against the doctor. (VVV)