TIMELINE: When Pimentel tested positive for coronavirus

Aika Rey

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TIMELINE: When Pimentel tested positive for coronavirus
(3rd UPDATE) Here's a timeline of events leading up to Senator Aquilino 'Koko' Pimentel's announcement that he is positive for the coronavirus

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Senator Aquilino Pimentel III announced on Wednesday, March 25, that he was positive for the coronavirus.

On social media, there was some confusion as to whether Pimentel knew that he was positive for the virus as early as Tuesday, March 24. Pimentel brought his wife Kathryna in a hospital in Makati Tuesday evening, as she was scheduled to give birth Wednesday morning.

The Pimentels said that they were already at the hospital when the senator received the news about his test results.

Here’s a timeline of what happened:

March 11

At 9:10 pm, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian announces that a resource person in a Senate hearing he had presided over had aqcuired coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Gatchalian says he will place himself under self-quarantine.

Senator Nancy Binay, who was with Gatchalian at the hearing, follows suit.

March 12

At around 10 am, Pimentel says he talked to Binay and Gatchalian, but finds it is not sufficient reason to go on self-quarantine.

“I would love to self-quarantine! But there are things that I still need to do. I talked to both Senators Gatchalian and Binay yesterday. I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to go on self-quarantine. But should that be the proper protocol, no problem with me,” says Pimentel.

On this day, at least half of senators start isolating themselves from other people.

March 14

Pimentel says he starts getting body pains similar to flu symptoms. He starts isolating himself in a different room from his wife.

March 16

Pimentel goes shopping at the S&R store in BGC, Taguig City. He checks out at counter 13 at 1:59 pm. At 6:50 pm, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri announces on Facebook that he has COVID-19.

March 17

Gatchalian and Binay test negative for coronavirus.

March 18

Pimentel says he has fever of about 38 degrees Celsius. He says he also has a sore throat, but no difficulty breathing.

March 20

Pimentel tests for coronavirus.

March 24

At around 6 to 7 pm, Pimentel and wife Kathryna check in at the Makati Medical Center (MMC), he says. Kathryna is due to give birth the following day, March 25. The Pimentels do not reach the delivery room, according to them.

Pimentel says that at around 9 pm, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine calls him to inform him of the positive test result.

“I told the OB even before I told my wife. Then I left her in the hospital. I never went inside the delivery room,” Pimentel says.

“Since I was already inside then I had to leave. Hence, I had to walk out of the hospital. Walking out po ‘yun not touring,” he adds.

Kathryna says the Pimentels never got to enter the delivery room.

“Senator Koko never entered the delivery room of Makati Med. He went with me sa (to) Makati Med yesterday to be admitted, not knowing he was COVID-19 positive yet,” she tells reporters.

March 25

Kathryna is supposed to give birth at 7 am but doctors decide to postpone the delivery of the baby, she says. She is required to get the swab test first before being allowed to give birth.

“For weeks now he was in self quarantine and practicing social distance. We don’t even share a room for 10 days already,” Kathryna says.

“It was only yesterday that he went with me for admission because he was also excited to see me deliver ‘sana’ (hopefully) which was scheduled today at 7 am but was canceled,” she adds. 

At 11:46 am, Pimentel informs the media about the test result. He’s the second senator known to be positive for the coronavirus.

At around 6 pm, the Makati Medical Center (MMC) denounces the “irresponsible and reckless action of the senator.”

“Senator Pimentel violated his home quarantine protocol, entered the premises of the MMC delivery room, thus, unduly exposed healthcare workers to possible infection,” MMC says in a statement.

“He added to the burden of a hospital trying to respond to its most competent and aggressive manner to cope with the daunting challenges of this COVID-19 outbreak,” it adds.

MMC says a number of nurses and doctors have been evaluated, and will be under quarantine “if the risk of exposure warrants it.” 

March 29

Kathryna Yu-Pimente gives birth to a baby girl, Ma Kathryn Helena.

The hospital’s location was not disclosed, and there is still no word of the results of the wife’s tests. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.