Asia

COVID-19 deaths in Quezon City not correctly reported? Philippine government denies Arnold Clavio’s exposé

man in white coat (©Tedward Quinn)

(©Tedward Quinn)

Arnold Clavio’s official Facebook account was disabled on April 10, 2020 after his exposé claiming that the number of deaths related to new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines were not being correctly reported. This did not stop the Filipino journalist as he continued to explain the situation on Instagram.

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Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mabilis na pagtugon ni Health Sec. Francisco Duque III at ng ilang opisyal ng gobyerno sa problemang ipinarating ko rito. Matapos po ang aming pag-uusap ni Sec. Duque, mayroon ilang bagay na kailangan pang mabigyan ng linaw. Una, wala po akong Twitter account. Pangalawa, nilinaw ko po sa inyo na wala akong sinabi na nag-utos ang DOH na huwag nang mag-census ng mga namatay sa COVD19. Ano’ng idi-deny. Makikita ito sa frame #2. Ang tanong ko sa frame #3. Sa kabila po ng pangako ninyong confidentiality, naglabas ng pahayag ang East Avenue Medical Center at pinapabulaanan ito at hindi rin totoo na may mga nakatambak na bangkay sa kanilang hallway. Ang tanong po ng lahat, Bakit kinailangan ni Dr. Crystal Songcuan na mag post sa kanyang social media account (frame number #6) at ng ina ng isa pang frontliner (frame #5) na ang EAMC ay “in dire need of cadaver bags” Personal pang sumulat si Dr. Songcuan kay Sen. Bong Go para rito. Ayon naman kay Sen. Go nakapagpadala na sila ng tulong sa EAMC. Sa frame #8, gusto kong sabihin na bago ko po pinost ang problemang ito, tatlo po ang nakausap ko at nanindigan sa impormasyon na ipinarating nila sa akin. Verified information po ito dahil sila po ang direktang saksi. Kung nais ko lang manlinlang o gumawa ng kuwento, bakit ko itinago ang mahahalagang impormasyon, tulad ng pangalan ng ospital, para sila ay proteksyunan? Labis na po silang nababahala at nag-aalala sa kanilang kaligtasan dahil araw-araw ay nadaraanan nila ang mga namatay sa COVID19 sa hallway. Sa kasamaang palad, nababaluktot o pilit inililihis ang isyu. Kung talagang may regular na ulat sa DOH ang bawat government hospital sa bilang ng mga nangangamatay, kailangan pa bang magpatawag ng imbestigasyon? Sa ngayon, ang huling impormasyon ko, ay may mga dumating na cadaver bags at masisimulan na ang maayos na pagsunog ng mga bangkay. Yun ang mahalaga. Nagtataka lang ako sa last frame#9, kung itinuturing natin na bagong bayani ang mga frontliner bakit ngayon ay pinapalabas natin sila na sinungaling? Hindi kredibilidad ko ang nasa linya, kundi ang buhay ng mga frontliner na humingi ng tulong sa akin upang malabas ang totoo!

A post shared by AkosiiGan😎 (@akosiigan) on

 

According to Clavio, he has already talked to Department of Health secretary Francisco Duque III about the issue. Still, the Filipino journalist cited several things that needed to be cleared up.

Clavio emphasized that he did not accuse the DOH of issuing an order not to census COVID-19-related deaths. This is why he said the department really had nothing to deny.

What Clavio previously asked Duque was about the true situation of the Philippines. The former had also asked why was it necessary to not count the people who died of COVID-19.

The issue all started when frontliners working at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), a government-owned tertiary general hospital in Quezon City, reported that there are cadavers improperly piled up in the hospital’s hallway. The hospital denied the claims that there was a directive to government hospitals to not report COVID-19-related deaths.

 

Duque also took to Twitter to declare that there was no such directive. He also said that the hospital will be investigated immediately.

 

What is puzzling, however, Clavio pointed out, was the fact that Dr. Crystal Songcuan, a pathology resident in EAMC and her mother took to Facebook to declare that the hospital was in dire need of cadaver bags. He added that the said doctor wrote a letter to Senator Bong Go about this particular problem.

According to Clavio, Go did send help to EAMC. If the number of COVID-19-related deaths in EAMC is this bad, it does not add up when the reported number of fatalities in Quezon City is considered.

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