The COVID-stricken nurse as she was rescued by Red Cross personnel along JP Rizal Street in Barangay Olympia, Makati City.
By Junex Doronio
MANILA – Living up to his monicker ‘Flash Gordon’, Senator Richard J. Gordon rushed to rescue a nurse who was reportedly kicked out from her boarding house and seen roaming the streets of Makati City after her landlady found out that she tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Considered as a “dark horse” in the 2022 presidential race, Gordon who also chairs the Philippine Red Cross decried the discrimination on COVID-19 victims. He demanded that local government units should have clear guidelines in such a situation when any of their constituents afflicted with the dreaded virus would ask for help.
“Ito ay istorya ng discrimination. ‘Wag niyong gagawin ito sa kapwa natin Pilipino. Lahat ng tao dapat tinutulungan natin. Mukhang mali ang polisiya ng gobyerno,” Gordon said in a statement on Monday.
The nurse was identified only as ‘’Gem.’’
It was learned that PRC personnel, upon the instruction of Gordon, on Aug. 5 rescued “Gem,” a customer care representative nurse under a health maintenance organization, who was told to vacate her room within the day after informing her landlady that she had contracted the virus.
She then went to the health center of Barangay Olympia in Makati City to seek help.
“Nung pumunta po ako, ang sabi sa ‘kin, sarado raw ang barangay health center… Ang sabi po sa ‘kin, ‘Sinasabi ko sa’yo, di ka matutulungan dito.’ May binigay sa ‘kin na contact number. Landline po, kaya di ko po ma-contact,” she said.
Gem said a friend eventually referred her to the Philippine Red Cross.
The nurse was found sitting on the gutter along J.P. Rizal street in Makati, according to Zenaida Beltejar, consultant of the PRC’s Welfare Services.
An ambulance brought her to a quarantine facility at the Quezon Institute.
Gordon lamented that the barangays seem helpless when supposedly there are facilities where LGUs could turn over residents who tested positive to the disease, and LGUs, down to the barangay level, should also be trained on the proper response.
“Kaya may isolation ward tayong ginagawa. Di naman natin pwede ikalat ang mga tulad ni Gem sa kalye. Yung mga landlady, hindi sila dapat magpaalis ng tao,” Gordon fumed.