A second Philippine senator on Wednesday confirmed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, but had brought his pregnant wife to hospital before he found out, triggering public outrage for possibly exposing other people to the disease.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who admitted suffering flu-like symptoms since March 14, said he found out he was positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday when he was at hospital with his wife ahead of a scheduled caesarian section delivery.
“I have quarantined myself upon the doctor’s advice and consistent with the protocol. I feel I am, with God’s help, on the way to recovery,” he said in a statement.
Instead of feeling sorry for Pimentel, Filipinos expressed anger over his decision to bring his wife to hospital when he should have been in isolation.
“Stupid and selfish,” one tweet said, while others called for sanctions against the senator, including throwing him in jail.
“Shame on you, Koko Pimentel! You put doctors and the sick in danger.
“How can our senators be so callous, irresponsbible and self-centered? Disgusting! We will never forget this,” said Kip Oebanda, a film director.
Pimentel was the second top government official to test positive for Covid-19 in the Philippines.
Last week, Sen. Miguel Zubiri announced he was Covid-19 positive, but did not have symptoms.
There are 552 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines, including 35 deaths as of Tuesday, the Department of Health said.
Nearly 9,000 people under investigation or monitoring for possible infection of coronavirus, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday.