Government agents seized P1.5 million worth of Chinese medicines during a raid at a facility in Pasay City believed being used for the treatment of patients infected with coronavirus disease.
Members of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service conducted the operation on Jan. 14 in close coordination with the Coast Guard and National Bureau of Investigation.
During the raid, the authorities found a makeshift clinic storing assorted Chinese medicines, including “Ribavirin” drug used for treatment of pneumonia and bronchitis, thus leading to strong suspicion that the clinic was treating cases related to COVID-19.
Representatives from the facility were invited to appear for questioning to explain the makeshift clinic and the presence of the unauthorized Chinese medicines.
CIIS-Manila International Container Port officials warned the public against the use of medicines without the proper Department of Health and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearances.
They also appealed to the public to avoid seeking treatment from fly-by-night clinics that might cause further health risks.
President Rodrigo Duterte had made a marching order to go after unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of the pandemic.
Last year, authorities shut down at least three medical clinics operated by Chinese nationals reportedly engaged in treating COVID-19 patients.
The three facilities were in the cities of Makati and Paranaque.
One of the police operations also resulted in the arrest of a 44-year-old Chinese woman Yumei Liang, also known as Liza Wu, a resident of Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
There were reports that fellow Chinese nationals were the clients or patients of the suspect. The clients entered the establishment using the back door of the old building.