ACTING Health Secretary Jeanette Garin continues to draw flak from lawmakers over her “reckless” decision to visit Filipino peacekeepers currently under the 21-day quarantine despite knowing potential risk she might pose after the visit.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito on Tuesday said Garin’s move to visit the soldiers without even wearing any protective gear violates specific instruction from Malacañang to take extra precautions in handling potential cases of the Ebola virus.
“We do not need publicity stunts right now in dealing with a very dangerous disease like Ebola,” the senator added.
According to him, Garin had been too complacent in putting the entire nation at risk.
While she might be right in assuming that the soldiers are Ebola virus-free, Ejercito pointed out that the very essence of Malacañang order to have a 21-day quarantine period is to make it sure that everything is being done with high precaution.
Worse, he said, the order of Malacañang was violated by no less that the acting Health chief, the one who is supposed to exercise caution in dealing with a potential health risk.
Ejerctio added that if Garin believes that the soldiers are now free of Ebola and that she feels that she does not need to undergo the 21-day quarantine after her visit to Caballo Island last weekend, the government should allow the soldiers to go back to their families.
Sen. Pia Cayetano said Garin needs to explain her actions to the public in order to ease concern on the possible risk of the spread of the disease.
Cayetano added that Garin is familiar with protocol and she is the one who could say if she violated it or not.
Garin, along with Armed Forces chief Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., military spokesperson Harold Cabunoc and DOH spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy went to the island on Sunday without wearing any protective equipment, despite knowing fully well that the soldiers are yet to complete the 21-day quarantine period.