MANILA - Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Thursday apologized to the public for accompanying his pregnant wife to the Makati Medical Center (MMC), while awaiting results of his coronavirus test.
Pimentel, who tested positive for the highly-contagious coronavirus disease 2019, drew ire on Wednesday for going to the MMC delivery room to accompany his pregnant wife, potentially exposing other pregnant women and health workers to COVID-19.
"I would like to sincerely and profoundly apologize for this very unfortunate incident. I never intended to do any harm to anyone," the senator said in an interview on ANC.
"I never intended to breach any protocol but I realize now, I unnecessarily caused additional anguish, concern to the courageous healthcare workers who we all depend," he said.
"I was simply there to be with my wife during the birth of my daughter," he said.
Pimentel gave the statement a day after the Makati Medical Center earlier publicly admonished him for putting at risk hospital staff who were already overstretched due to the influx of COVID-19 patients and other possible yet unconfirmed carriers of the disease.
Pimentel urged MMC to communicate with him and to "give focus" on his wife and his infant daughter.
"I’d like to extend my apologies to the Makati Medical Center. Please tell me how I can make it up to you," the senator said.
"Just allow me in the meantime to recover and of course please give focus on my wife and the two lives which are involved here, which are at stake," he said.
"I ask for everybody‘s understanding and compassion," he said.
Pimentel's wife, Kathryna, was supposed to give birth at the MMC on March 25, 2020, but her cesarean delivery was postponed until she gets the result of her COVID-19 test.