A private villa in the Philippines which was allegedly turned into an underground hospital and drugstore treating Chinese citizens with suspected coronavirus infections was raided by the Philippine National Police, Tuesday.
According to police Brig. Gen. Rhoderick Armamento, one patient was found under treatment and two people were nabbed during the raid. The place, which was initially a residential villa has been transformed into an illegally set up drug store and seven-bed hospital.
Based on the footage during the raid, the drugstore and hospital was found in a large room adjacent to a swimming pool at the backside of the residential compound. The place's garbage cans were turned and at least suspected rapid test kits for coronavirus were found along with several syringes.
Among the two who were arrested was a Chinese citizen who acted as the administrator of the hospital which has been operating secretly for around three months. The other person who was arrested was his compatriot who ran the drugstore.
Meanwhile, the Chinese patient who was admitted to the illegal health facility was moved to a Philippine hospital.
According to Armamento, the Chinese citizens were practicing medicine and prescribing drugs despite not having a license. He also said that the illegal operation of the hospital has posed a danger of the virus spreading in the country since patients who have been initially brought there for treatment may now be walking around and unknowingly spreading the infection.
The clandestine hospital was operating at Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone, which was formerly US Air Force base which was made into an upscale residential area with a commercial and leisure center just northwest of Manila.
Armamento stated that majority of the clients who sought services from the illegal medical facility were Chinese citizens who work for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry in the country, which are online gambling centers.
Placed under lockdown
As consequence for the operations of the illegal medical facility, Philippine media outlet Rappler reported that the Fontana Leisure Park where the villa was located was placed under total lockdown on the same day of the raid.
According to Clark Development Corporation (CDC), which is the developer of the said leisure parks and villas the kind of illegal activity inside the premises of Clark Freeport will not be tolerated since it is not only a violation of the law but it also poses great danger to the lives of people who interact with the operators and the patients who are not getting proper treatment from licensed medical professionals.
Tracing the patients who sought treatment from the facility
In a statement by Philippines' Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, he has released an order to the country's immigration bureau to work with the PNP and local government units in order to track down the Chinese nationals who have been treated and discharged from the unauthorized health care facility. He said that this will be done in order to prevent them from spreading the virus and infecting more people.
Moreover, he added that once they are found they will be taken to legitimate medical and quarantine facilities.