Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque slammed a query into how he managed to have a hospital room, which has been in short supply following the surge in COVID-19 cases last month, after he tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend as "un-Christian."
“With all due respect, I think that’s an un-Christian question,” said Roque in a virtual press briefing Monday.
Roque said he started his isolation at home but said he needed to be confined at the Philippine General Hospital after his oxygen level fell to 90. With the surge in COVID-19 cases starting last month, many patients needing hospital admission now have to wait for hours or even days as many facilities have reached full capacity—some have to be treated in makeshift treatment areas on hospital grounds, others in their cars, while some patients have died waiting.
He added, “Ang aking assurance lang sa administrasyon po ni President Duterte, lahat ng mayroong pangangailangang medikal ay mabibigyan po ng tulong.”
Speaking with ANC’s Headstart, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire kept mum on Roque’s alleged hospital prioritization.
“We have our protocols and there is also a triaging system in our hospitals based on the level of severity of patients when they come in,” she said.
“For this, please forgive me. I’m not going to comment on this but as I’ve said, we have protocols in our system,” Vergeire added.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Roque was rushed to the hospital on the night of April 9 due to COVID-19.
On Sunday, Roque posted on his Facebook page an update on his health situation.
“I am better after only one vial of remdesivir and steroids. I came in at the right time since pneumonia was caught early on. Doctors won’t discharge me, though, until four more vials of remdesivir, which means I will be confined until Thursday,” said the spokesperson.
He also noted that he already feels “normal” on the third day of his confinement, which will allow him to do his thrice-a-week briefings. He also said he will be checking in into temporary treatment and monitoring facility (TTMF) on Friday to complete his 14-day isolation.
The first time Roque tested positive for COVID-19 was in mid-March and has reportedly recovered by March 25 after completing his quarantine and tested negative for the disease.
Banner image screenshot from PCOO and photo by Miguel de Guzman/The Philippine STAR