DAVAO CITY, Philippines – True or fake news?

This was the immediate question of the public, netizens in particular, after GMA host Arnold Clavio posted via his verified Instagram account (@akosiigan) on Saturday (Apr. 11) that a hospital in Metro Manila has ordered to stop counting deaths due to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

“Isang ospital sa Metro Manila, may utos na huwag nang magbilang ng namamatay dahil sa Covid19 ( There is one hospital in Manila, there is an order not to count the deaths due to Covid-19)“, Clavio said on his post.

The situation in that hospital, which later turned out as the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), is frightening where dead bodies are ‘piled up’ in the hallway, he added.

Medical practitioners have been worried they might get infected with the virus. The hospital has also been asking for body bags for the bodies.

Clavio said the information is verified, coming from direct witnesses or frontliners themselves.

DOH, EAMC deny allegation

After the post reached the Department of Health (DOH), it quickly issued a statement.

“We would like to clarify that the DOH has never issued any order to stop the census or reporting of deaths, or any care related to COVID-19 to any health facility,” said Secretary Francisco Duque III.

EAMC spokesperson Dr. Dennis Ordoña confirmed, though, through CNN Philippines that they are the hospital being referred by Clavio in his viral post.

Clavio, however, did not mention the hospital’s name in his post. Also, he didn’t mention that it was the DOH who gave the instruction.

EAMC has released a statement, signed by its Officer-in-Charge Dr. Alfonso Nuñez, claiming they did not receive the order from the DOH or Quezon City Local Government to stop or hold the reporting of deaths related to COVID-19.

Nuñez also denied reports that they run out of body bags.

“We have cadaver bags available; at least 30 cadaver bags available. And another 100 coming in next week,” he said.

He also clarified that bodies were not “piled up” in the EAMC hallway but “in the morgue hallway”.

In his follow up post, Clavio said Dr. Crystal Songcuan and a mother of a frontliner posted on their respective social media accounts that the EAMC is “in dire need of cadaver bags”. He added that Songcuan personally wrote to Sen. Bong Go for the request.

The DOH said it has spoken to Clavio and is currently investigating the issue. (davaotoday.com)

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