Philippines tracks down rising number of secret Covid-19 clinics

A woman undergoes a rapid test at testing facility in Manila, Philippines, on May 24, 2020.
A woman undergoes a rapid test at testing facility in Manila, Philippines, on May 24, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MANILA (BLOOMBERG) - Philippine authorities are searching for more clandestine clinics allegedly treating foreigners with Covid-19 symptoms and will charge their operators in court.

"It seems that clandestine medical clinics catering mostly to foreign nationals have sprouted and have been operating without proper authority," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters in a mobile-phone message. The health of those seeking treatment in these illegal facilities is compromised, he said.

The justice secretary said he has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Immigration to locate these underground clinics and file charges against the people running them.

Law enforcers raided a clinic in Makati City believed to be treating suspected Covid-19 patients, arresting two Chinese nationals, CNN Philippines reported on May 27. Earlier, authorities also raided a villa in a hotel complex in Pampanga province that was converted into a clinic for suspected Covid-19 patients.