May 22, 2020 - World

Secret clinics treat Chinese coronavirus patients in Philippines

Medical materials to be transported from China to the Philippines. Photo: Xinhua via Getty

Police in the Philippines have raided multiple illegal hospitals in recent weeks that have reportedly been secretly treating Chinese patients with the coronavirus and other diseases.

Why it matters: These facilities not only pose health risks, they've also shed light on the industry many of the patients worked in: offshore gambling.

Driving the news: In May, police raided a leisure park and casino in Clark, the site of a former U.S. air base northwest of Manila. There they found a converted seven-bed hospital and drug store.

  • The suspected owner and pharmacist were arrested, while a Chinese patient was transferred to a hospital.
  • Many of the clients reportedly belong to the area's Chinese community and work in online gambling.
  • “More than 200 suspected coronavirus rapid test kits and syringes were recovered from trash cans at the villa,” per the AP.
  • Clark officials have ordered a full lockdown of Fontana Leisure Park, saying: “This illegal activity not only violates the law, but also poses danger to individuals who potentially need medical treatment for the deadly disease.”

In April, authorities raided another illegal Chinese clinic in the city of Parañaque.

  • Treatment beds, IV stands, and unregistered Chinese drugs — reportedly for sexually transmitted diseases, dengue, and COVID-19 — were found inside the unsanitary clinic, according to city officials.
  • “Apparently they treat their own. Many witnesses see Chinese nationals getting medicines, going in and out wearing dextrose,” said Dr. Olga Virtusio of Parañaque City Health Center.
  • This facility also was also reportedly treating Chinese nationals who work in online gambling.

Big picture: Philippine offshore gaming operators cater to gamblers in China, where gambling is illegal. They employ tens of thousands of Chinese nationals, most of them undocumented.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The European Union is considering an $826 billion coronavirus rescue package to fund recovery efforts for all member states, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

By the numbers: More than 5.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 355,500 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 15.1 million tests).

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,682,389 — Total deaths: 354,944 — Total recoveries — 2,337,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,697,459 — Total deaths: 100,276 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  8. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy