Arjo Atayde was rushed to a hospital in Manila on Tuesday, August 17 after testing positive for COVID-19.
Atayde had been in Baguio City for almost two months, filming the movie Hey Joe.
According to a Wednesday, August 18 statement by Atayde’s production house Feelmaking Productions, the actor tested positive on August 16, after experiencing high fever, headaches, and difficulty breathing.
The production house, along with Atayde’s doctors and parents, said they decided to rush him to the hospital on August 17 as he had “a pre-existing medical condition.”
They also said that nine other people tested positive for COVID-19, but are asymptomatic and are in quarantine.
Earlier, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong told media that Atayde left Baguio ahead of getting the results of the RT-PCR test that confirmed he had COVID-19.
Atayde’s family said they’ve reached out to Magalong. “We assure him and the people of Baguio that we will comply with our commitments to the City,” the statement said.
After Atayde tested positive, Magalong said that they would stop film productions in the city.
Magalong, who is also the country’s contact tracing czar, said Atayde and his team had promised to create their own “bubble” to avoid interacting and potentially infecting locals. The mayor, however, said some of the movie crew had been leaving for Manila during shooting and were not following health protocols imposed by the city.
Since Atayde’s departure from Baguio, the movie crew’s 100-plus crew members have been isolating in one of the city’s hotels.
Following the news, people took to social media, criticizing Arjo for allegedly disrespecting health protocols and compromising the safety of Baguio locals.
Arjo’s girlfriend, actress Maine Mendoza, rose to his defense on Twitter on August 18. Responding to a Twitter user, she said “I am not ‘tolerating’ him but there’s just so much you don’t know about the story. And I hope he gets the chance to tell his side and the context of what had happened these past few days.”
“I also hope you do not base your judgments solely on what you see online…because you might just be seeing an angle of the real scenario,” she said. – Rappler.com