Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday denied that the Department of Health (DOH) has barred the entry into the country of Chinese doctors who were supposed to help the Philippines handle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. revealed in an earlier post that the DOH blocked the entry of Chinese doctors sent by Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian to the Philippines.
The Twitter post has now been deleted.
“DOH is blocking their arrival. DON’T PISS ME OFF. LET THEM IN,” he wrote on Twitter.
This weekend, Locsin said he sought the help of Huang Xilian to bring in the Chinese doctors.
Locsin took down this tweet after hearing the health department’s explanation.
Duque explained that the government is waiting for the arrival of 12 Chinese experts who will give their advice on how to handle COVID-19 patients.
“That’s not true. I have already clarified that so that’s why Secretary Locsin already took down his tweet. We explained that we are waiting for 12 experts,” said Duque.
However, Duque did not say when the Chinese doctors are supposed to arrive in the Philippines. But he said that hotel accommodations and translators are already being prepared for them.
He said the Chinese doctors will not practice medicine here, they will not treat our patients.
“They would only give their expert advice because of their Wuhan lockdown experience and the clinical management of patients, they have many knowledge here that can help us manage our COVID-19 patients natin,” said Duque.
The Chinese government had placed Wuhan City, the epicenter of the new coronavirus, under lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Restrictions on Wuhan were eased after Chinese health officials recorded no new local cases in the city./Stacy Ang