DAVAO CITY, March 23 (PIA) - Receiving reports of photos and details about alleged COVID19 patients circulated thru social media, the Department of Health XI announced in Monday's Virtual Press Conference that evidences had been gathered and reported to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The DOH XI reminded the public on the unauthorized sharing of confidential information pertaining to a patient's medical condition or treatment as embodied in the Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Concern Act.
The law indicated that any person found to have violated this shall be penalized with a fine of not less than P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than 1 month but not more than 6 months.
" Kung naa tay mahibal-an nga silingan o kaila nga nagpositive sa COVID, unta dili nato sila kahadlukan ug magpataka ug storya kabahin sa ilang health condition. Atong sabtong ang ilang kahimtang ug ilang ginaagihan uban ilang pamilya kay dili kana sayon. (If we know someone who was diagnosed positive of COVID 19, let's not fear for that person and even spread information about his condition. We should understand the patient's situation, and the things that he might he undergoing. These things could have been difficult for that person and the family.)," said DOH XI Regional Director Annabelle Yuman.
She stressed that the DOH respects the privacy of the patients diagnosed positive of COVID 19 which is why only limited information of these patients are included in the daily health bulletin that the department issues for public consumption.
Photos and details about the patient are not released by the department in compliance to RA 113322.
Meanwhile, the DOH also appealed to the public to understand the situation of health frontliners like doctors and nurses. Following the reported incident of some nurses evicted from their apartment because of discrimination, Health Assistant Secretary Roy Ferrer asked for understanding and respect due to these healthworkers.
" Intindihin po natin na matapos po silang mag-alaga ng mga pasyente sa hospital, pagod na po sila. Sana naman huwag natin silang paalisin sa kanilang nirerentahang apartment dahil sa takot na makakapagdala sila ng virus doon. ( Let us understand that they have been tired after days of taking care of COVID suspects and diagnosed patients. Understanding is not shown when we evict them from their rented apartment just because they were feared that they might bring the virus.)," said Asec Ferrer.
The health official highlighted that these nurses are professionals and they know very well good hygiene. The public should not fear for them. Instead, they deserve to be respected and understood.
Ferrer announced in the same virtual press conference that the DOH truly feel saddened by the number of doctors and health workers in the National Capital Region who got afflicted by COVID 19; some are still battling the virus while some had died.
" The best way we can show our concern to them is by donating PPEs because they badly need these to be protected as they take care of the COVID patients," Ferrer said.
Needed PPEs are gloves masks, googles, and disposable surgical gowns. Donors could drop off their donations at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) or the Department of Health XI office. (PIA XI/Frances Mae Macapagat)