MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday denied having received special treatment when he secured a room at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) after contracting Covid-19 anew.
In a virtual presser, Roque said like the UP Diliman where he served as law professor, UP-PGH rejects any form of special treatment to government officials and personalities.
“Ang PGH kabahagi po ‘yan ng University of the Philippines. Wala pong pagkakaiba ang UP-PGH sa UP Diliman. Hindi po pupuwede ang palakasan dito (The PGH is part of the University of the Philippines. UP-PGH is no different from UP Diliman. Special treatment is not given here),” he said.
Roque said he was admitted at PGH because his condition “merited admission.”
“I can assure you po, gaya ng lahat ng ibang ospital, ang basis for admission po kinakailangan moderate at severe cases. Sa aking kaso po (just like other hospitals, the basis for admission is moderate and severe cases. In my case), I was in bad shape when I was admitted,” he said.
Roque earlier said he decided to get admitted after his oxygen level dropped to 90.
Health experts say that normal oxygen levels usually range from 95 to 100 percent while oxygen levels under 90 are considered low.
He, however, admitted that he started to feel better last Sunday after receiving remdesivir, an antiviral medication that was found to speed up the recovery of Covid-19 patients.
Roque first announced that he was hospitalized for Covid-19 on Saturday.
He also assured the public that the PGH and other hospitals in the country will accommodate all patients seeking treatment for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 emergencies.
“Kakaiba po dito sa PGH. Kaya nga po sinabi ko kahapon na sa administrasyon ni Presidente Duterte walang tinatanggihan dahil dito po sa PGH, wala pong pasyente na tinatanggihan dito sa PGH (It’s different here at PGH. That’s why yesterday I said that during the Duterte administration, hospitals will not reject patients because here at the PGH, they don’t reject patients),” he said.
Should there be no available rooms, Roque said patients needing immediate care will be treated at emergency rooms until more patients move out.
“Lahat po yan gagamutin. Kung wala pang kuwarto, sa ER. Pero nagkakakuwarto naman po ‘yan dahil karamihan ng nagpupunta rito ay charity patients para sa mga wards (Everyone will receive treatment. If there are no rooms, they will be treated at the ER. But there will be rooms eventually because most of the people coming here at charity patients),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque also clarified his earlier remark describing a reporter’s question about how he managed to get confined at the PGH while others with worse symptoms could not as “unchristian.”
“Kaya siya unchristian para bagang pag ika’y nakakuha ng kuwarto sa panahon ngayon, e meron kang ginawa na nang-isa ka sa kapwa mo (It’s unchristian because if you get a room during this time, it’s as if you did something wrong against your fellow),” he said.
This is the second time Roque contracted Covid-19. On March 15, he announced that he tested positive for Covid-19, saying he was asymptomatic and recovered over a week later. (PNA)