QUEZON CITY — Strict definition of COVID-19 deaths according to DOH protocol has hampered final description of the 20 cadavers piling up in a hospital in Quezon City, either as COVID-19 deaths, or deaths from other diseases.

Only East Avenue Medical Center {EAMC} in Quezon City was reported so far of having 20 cadavers that have piled up due to lack of sufficient equipment, a freezer to store dead bodies from COVID-19 infections.

There are no reports from other hospitals of similar situation with EAMC, a situation whom medical experts say “might occur if the health system collapsed as more bodies started piling up daily, feeding the pipeline.”

According to EAMC, “that so far, none of the bodies have tested positive for COVID-19, saying that they will wait for test results to know if they have the virus – hence they are considered as persons under investigation (PUIs).”

This was admitted by EAMC on Black Saturday, one of the country’s major hospitals involved in the fight against COVID-19 saying, “bodies have ‘piled up’ in the hallway of its morgue facility.

According to EAMC, its morgue could only handle 5 cadavers.

The number of deaths nationwide has been rising steadily whom the Health department recorded as 247 deaths, which was added by 26 new fatalties as of Saturday. DOH has posted total of 4428 COVID infections, with an additional 233 new infections on Saturday.

With the strict definition of a “COVID-19 death”, a PUI who died, owing to lack of final laboratory result, is classified as death of a PUI, adding confusion to data compiled under “COVID-19 deaths”.

EAMC is the hospital referred to by Arnold Clavio, television newscaster, when he posted in Instagram about an {alleged} DOH order to hospitals to stop counting COVID deaths, a posting that had went viral on Black Saturday, prompting DOH Secretary Duque to issue a denial.

EAMC admitted the twenty cadavers have not been picked up by relatives or Health personnel for cremation, but because of the media expose, the bodies had been picked up with only six cadavers waiting for pick up as of Saturday afternoon.

Bad stench had filled up the hospital surroundings coming from some of the cadavers.

The hospital made the confirmation after Clavio posted on his Instagram account ‪Saturday morning‬ about what was allegedly going on inside a hospital in Metro Manila.

Under Section 4.6 of the Interior Department’s guidelines for handling PUI and COVID-19 deaths, local governments “shall designate and commission reputable funeral parlors and crematoriums to handle the remains of confirmed COVID-19 cases and PUIs.” They are also mandated to shoulder logistical, fuel, and salary expenses involved in the process.


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