EAMC admits bodies 'piled up' in morgue hallway

MANILA, Philippines – The East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) has admitted that bodies have “piled up” in the hallway of its morgue facility but not inside the main hospital.

EAMC admits bodies 'piled up' in morgue hallway
Photo Credit: Facebook/East Avenue Medical Center

“Past few days starting this week, nag-pile up ang ating cadavers, umaabot ng 15 to 20 ang ating cadavers,” Dr. Dennis Ordoña, EAMC spokesperson, told ABS-CBN News.

Ordoña said the issue was due to shortage of mortuary freezers to store additional human remains.

“’Yung capacity ng morgue is hanggang 5 lang,” he said.

Ordoña added bodies were properly kept inside body bags and placed in the hallway of the morgue. He assured that the area is well-ventilated and that employees entering the morgue wear gas masks and personal protective equipment.

Some of the bodies have been staying in the morgue for at least four days. “Honestly po, may mga bangkay na po doon na nangangamoy na. Umaabot na din po admittedly 'yung amoy sa ibang areas po ng hospital.”

In the past, bodies were immediately retrieved by relatives within six hours after death.

“Ang mga pamilya hindi rin agresibo na mag-check o asikasuhin ’yung remains ng kanilang kamag-anak. Doon naman sa Quezon City health department, ang alam namin puno na ang slots ng cremation," he said.

If families are unable to claim the bodies for cremation, they have to resort bringing it to private crematorium and it would cost around P65,000 to P200,000.

The confirmation came after the posts of veteran journalist Arnold Clavio went viral.

"Sa isang ospital sa Metro Manila, may utos na huwag nang magbilang ng namamatay dahil sa COVID19. Ayon sa isang frontliner, nakakatakot ang situwasyon dahil nagkalat sa hallway ng ospital ang mga bangkay.

Sa isang ward, may 15-20 ang Covid19 positive. Sa tatlong ward, puno ng PUI (Person Under Investigation). Sa loob ng isang araw, 10 ang namamatay."

Earlier, EAMC and the Department of Health (DOH) have denied the allegations of non-reporting of deaths.


On the issue of burying COVID-19 fatalities, DOH said they are closely coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as well as local government units to ensure that guidelines on the management of the dead are properly followed.

"Pasig and Quezon City have already designated crematoriums to address this matter, we encourage other local government units to do the same," DOH said.

Ordoña added that test results of the bodies are still pending and they are considered as persons under investigation (PUIs).

As of Saturday, Ordoña says 6 bodies remain uncollected in the morgue.

“We’re actually looking for a portable morgue kung saan pwedeng ilagay ’yung freezer na ito. We’re actually looking for rentals. S’yempre merong donors, highly appreciated,” he said.

While EAMC is not giving the counts of COVID-19 cases in the hospital due to centralized reporting of the Health department, data from DOH’s Summary of Positive Cases and Case Bulletins last April 2 says EAMC had 7 COVID-19 cases, 1 death.

— The Summit Express

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