GMA artist Nikki Co sorry for ‘insensitivity’ after photo wearing PPE drew flak

April 21, 2020 - 11:48 AM
Nikki Co
GMA artist Nikki Co in a gym. (Photo from Nikki Co via Instagram)

Kapuso artist Nikki Co on Monday issued an apology after some Filipinos called him out for supposedly wasting personal protective equipment (PPE) suit for a photo opportunity, a claim he has denied.

The 23-year-old actor said that it was “never” his intention to offend anyone and explained that he needed the PPE suit to “protect” himself while he accompanied his mother to her regular check-ups in a hospital.

“It was never my intention to affect you people negatively. Sorry kung ‘yun ‘yung naparating ng post ko. Also, I need the PPE too: To protect myself and ‘di mahawa ‘pag pumupunta kami ng hospital for regular check-ups ng mom ko. Again, sorry for showing insensitivity. God bless,” Co wrote on Twitter.

Others accepted his apology while some Filipinos told him that he didn’t need to apologize for a supposed precautionary measure.

There were some Filipinos, however, who stressed that he is not a medical frontliner and does not need to wear a PPE suit.

“You have the right to protection. Para sa’yo, mask would suffice since ‘di ka nagtatrabaho sa hospital. In this time na limited ang resources, PRIORITY ang HCW (healthcare workers) sa overalls na klase ng PPE,” a Twitter user responded.

“Also hijo, pumupunta rin ako ng hospital now for checkups. Ako ang patient ha, pero mask lang ang suot ko. Pls ask your hospitals’ health care workers if kailangan mo talaga ng PPE,” another online user responded to the actor.

Co was previously condemned for posting a now-deleted picture of him wearing an unzipped blue PPE suit where half of his torso could be seen. It was captioned, “Fitting my PPE.”

Showbiz website PEP and some online users managed to take a screengrab of the picture before Co deleted it, along with some of the comments on the controversial photo.

A Twitter user earlier replied to Co’s now-deleted picture. He wrote, “If you aren’t a medical personnel, then you shouldn’t be wearing one of those. Use something else for your thirst trap. While our medical workers are short with PPE’s, you’re here wasting one.” 

Another user pointed out that the actor shouldn’t be wasting it on photoshoots even if he is supposedly a frontliner due to its shortage as the world battles the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Kung hindi ka frontliner, ‘wag sayangin ang PPE. Also, kahit frontliner ka, you shouldn’t be doing that. Your colleagues are dying,” the online user previously said to Co’s post.

Others, meanwhile, called him out for flaunting his body for the sake of “clout.”

Ang intent ni @nikkico_ is to show his body. He’s just stupid to think it’s appropriate and timely to use a PPE. He thinks we are all stupid to believe even his lame excuse to use a PPE to go to the hospital for whatever reason. How sensitive is your talent eh #GMA7 #Kapuso? Not!

— Leon Salinel (@LeonSalinel) April 20, 2020


Despite the criticisms, Co’s manager Robert Manuguid Silverio echoed his apology and reiterated that it was not the artist’s intention to hurt anyone.

The manager also claimed he provided the PPE for his talent.

On PPE suits 

Last month, the World Health Organization acknowledged the global shortage of PPE suits that are essential in keeping the medical workers safe and protected in hospitals as they attend to COVID-19-infected patients.

It said that governments around the world should increase its manufacturing capabilities by 40 percent to “meet the rising global demand” as the threat of the pandemic continues.

To alleviate the country’s PPE suit shortage, several local designers and cloth manufacturers have shifted their businesses to production of PPE suits and face masks to aid medical workers and keep them protected from potential exposure to the virus.

Some of these designers include Ram Silva who designed “Money Heist”-inspired PPE suits, former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Mich Dulce and Guela Ampong with her Philippine flag-inspired suits.

A full PPE suit consists of a coveralls, a surgical cap, an N95 mask, a scrub suit, goggles or a face shield, double gloves, dedicated shoes and shoe covers.

Medical workers wear it when they treat patients with extremely infectious diseases since it reduces their potential to get exposed to bacteria and viruses.