Patients' non-disclosure of full health info leads to 'mix-up' of cases at Fabella Hospital, says official

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 20)— A top official of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila admitted that some suspected COVID-19 cases have been treated in the same wards as regular patients. This is due to a mix-up caused by patients withholding full health information, the official said.

"Nangyayari po dahil may mga nagde-deny, may mga nagsasabi po nang hindi totoo na mga pasyente para lang po sila ay ma-admit at makapanganak sa Fabella," Dr. Esmeraldo Ilem, chief of the medical center, told CNN Philippines on Monday. "So lahat sila, akala namin ay mga negative."

[Translation: Yes it is happening because some patients are denying, some patients are lying just so they can be admitted and can give birth at Fabella. We thought all of them were negative.]

"Malalaman na lang namin pagkapanganak na at doon sila magde-develop na mapapansing umuubo, nag-develop ng fever, that's the only time we will discover," he added.

[Translation: After giving birth, that's when they start developing symptoms. They will develop fever, coughs, that's the only time we will discover.]

A healthcare worker at the hospital, who refused to disclose his identity, earlier claimed that suspected COVID-19 patients do not have a separate ward. He added patients are brought to the operating and delivery rooms once the isolation facilities fill up.

READ: Mass testing at Fabella Hospital sought amid poor handling of COVID-19 PUIs

The hospital management, in response, said they have already designated a building that will separate COVID-19-related cases.

“Further expansions were implemented due to the surge of patients, with putting up of tents and renovations in the main hospital building to accommodate patients who will not tell the truth of their status,” Fabella said in an earlier statement.

The Health Department has been eyeing the hospital's new building as a COVID-19 facility to help control the spread of the infectious disease.