COVID-19 patient kin mulls legal action due to discrimination

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The family of Bacolod City’s COVID -19 “Patient No.7” is planning to take legal action against several individuals who allegedly discriminated both the patient and the whole family in social media.

The patient’s daughter, who requested not to be named, recalled Patient No.7’s travel history from Los Angeles, California in the United States and went home on March 13.

She said a few days after the patient’s arrival, he started exhibiting symptoms of the virus, after which he sought medical attention.

A swab test was then performed on March 29, and on April 3 they learned that he had tested positive for the virus.

Days later, the daughter claimed they received information from their friends on social media that her father’s picture showing him standing in their house’s balcony was being spread online.

Several individuals lambasted the patient and some even threatened to kill him as a solution in preventing the spread of the virus.

“Truth be told I got really scared as to what is going on, the picture was being spread online. I didn’t review the comments section first because I wanted to talk to my family, especially my dad,” she said.

The daughter also said that she was enraged over the pictures, pointing out they are already devastated over her dad’s illness and their only goal was to have him recover.

She said the picture had already been taken down although she pointed out when the picture of his dad was taken he was looking down on his phone at the balcony which is at least 15 to 20 meters away from the main road.

“The day when health officials placed him under strict quarantine, he never went out of the house, and we have [close circuit television] footage to prove it,” she said.

She further stated once the COVID-19 crisis is over, they are considering filing criminal charges against individuals who discriminated and harassed them online.

“We already talked with our lawyer and we are now in the process of gathering enough evidence and once the [COVID-19] issue is over we will personally meet with the lawyer again to finalize the filing of the cases,” she added.