Illegal hospital treating coronavirus patients in Clark ordered to shut down

In this May 19, 2020, photo provided by the Philippine National Police, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Regional Field Units 3, police teams wearing protective suits inspect a seven-bed hospital beside a drug store during a raid at a residential villa, which was illegally turned into a medical facility, at the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone northwest of Manila. Philippine police have raided a small clandestine hospital and a drug store catering to Chinese citizens suspected to be infected with the COVID-19 disease and arrested two Chinese administrators. | CIDG Regional Field Units 3 via AP

The Clark Development Corporation has ordered the closure and full lockdown of the Fontana Resorts and Leisure Park inside the Clark Freeport Zone after the discovery of an illegal makeshift hospital treating Chinese nationals infected with COVID-19.

The two orders were signed after the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Regional Field Unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 3, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the CDC conducted a joint raid inside a villa at the Fontana Leisure Park on Tuesday, May 19.

During the raid on Wednesday, May 20, the team found the makeshift medical facility, which had seven beds and a kitchen-type laboratory where COVID-19 testing could have been conducted, as evidenced by more than 200 suspected coronavirus rapid test kits and syringes recovered in the trash bin.

“As a result, Clark officials have ordered the closure and full lockdown of Fontana Leisure Park inside the Clark Freeport following the raid. This illegal activity not only violates the law, but also poses danger to individuals who potentially need medical treatment for the deadly disease. CDC does not and will never tolerate this inside the Clark Freeport,” the Clark Development Corporation said.

The team also arrested Chinese nationals Hu Ling, the alleged owner of the facility, and Lee Seung Hyun, an alleged pharmacist.

Both individuals could face charges for the violation of the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9711), and the violation of the Medical Act of 1959 (RA 2382) for illegally operating without clearance and permit with the Department of Health and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

They are currently detained at Camp Olivas, the regional police headquarters.
“Aside from the operators who are now facing criminal charges, the CDC will also hold into account the management of Fontana for allowing this to happen within their property. We assure Clark stakeholders, the locators, local communities and residents especially, that we will not stop until all those involved are prosecuted and punished,” the developmental organization added.

CIDG Region 3 Chief Col. Amante Daro revealed there was also a Chinese middle-aged man admitted as a patient in the makeshift hospital. He was reportedly moved to a local hospital.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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