Nalzaro: Patients’ rights vs. public welfare


I WILL not do an a la Atty. Rommel Rosito, who divulged the names of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)-positive patients on social media. I don’t want to be accused of being an alarmist. I belong to mainstream media and I have my credibility to protect. Besides, I don’t want to be facing more cases in court. I have enough pending libel cases.

But will I be violating a law, particularly the Data Privacy Act, if I mention where these Covid-19 patients reside? Will I cause panic and alarm the patients’ neighbors and acquaintances if I do? Or will I be doing a noble act by alerting the community about these patients’ whereabouts to prevent a serious and imminent threat to public health? This is about balancing the patients’ right to privacy and public welfare.

The deaths of Dr. Dennis Tudtud, 64, and his wife Helen, 66, also a physician, were already reported in mainstream media. They were residents and owners of a leisure center in Talamban, Cebu City. No less than their children confirmed their deaths from the virus. Helen died last March 27 while Dennis died last March 30. The death of Visayan Electric Company (Veco) and Vivant Company top executive Dennis Garcia, a resident of Cebu City, was also reported on mainstream media. He died last March 28.

As to other Covid-19-positive patients, I have their names but I will not divulge these because I don’t want to suffer the fate of Attorney Rosito and Cebu City Councilor Nina Mabatid, who are facing charges because of their posts on the social media.

Included in the list are patients from the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay and the towns of Consolacion and Cordova. I will just tag them by numbers and their status.

I will tag the Tudtud couple and Mr. Garcia as patients number 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Here are the other patients:

Patient #4 is a 68-year-old female of Banilad, Cebu City who is still confined in the hospital; #5 is a 65-year-old resident of Cebu City who died in the hospital last March 23; #6 is a 56-year-old male resident of Mandaue City and is still confined; #7 is a 53-year-old resident of Babag 2, Cebu City who is admitted at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center; #8 is a 70-year-old male who is on home quarantine in Banilad, Cebu City; #9 is a 69-year-old female resident of Guadalupe, Cebu City who is still in the hospital.

Patient #10 is a 42-year-old female resident of Pardo, Cebu City who is still confined in the hospital; #11, 45-year-old, female, of Banawa, admitted; #12, 56-year-old, female, a resident of Oprra, admitted; #13, 69-year-old, male, of Mambaling, admitted; #14, 64-year-old, male, a businessman and resident of Guadalupe, admitted;

Patient #15 is a 55-year-old male resident of Cebu City who is still in the hospital; #16 is a 64-year-old male resident of Pardo who is still confined; #17 is a 72-year-old resident of Banilad, Cebu City who is admitted in the hospital; #18 is a 72-year-old male and the husband of Patient #20.

Patient #19 is a 68-year-old female resident of Capitol Site, Cebu City who is in the hospital; #20 is a 67-year-old female (wife of patient no. 18) resident of Cebu City who is admitted; #21 is a 45-year-old male of Banawa, Cebu City who is in the hospital; #22 is a 57-year-old male resident of Talamban, Cebu City who is admitted.

Patient #23 is a 31-year-old resident of Mandaue City; #24 is a 54-year-old resident of Consolacion town who is confined in the hospital; #25 is a 75-year-old resident of Lapu-Lapu City; #26 is a 70-year-old male resident of Lapu-Lapu City who is in the hospital; #27 is a 27-year-old female resident of Cordova who is in the hospital; and Patient #28 is an 84-year-old male of Lawaan 1 in Talisay City.

Kadtong mga silingan o higala, ayaw mo’g ka-panic, ha. Magmatngon lang gyud. Keep safe and stay at home.


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