Gwyneth Chua is an American woman from the United States who has become a Twitter and Google trend after being accused of cutting COVID-19 quarantine in the Philippines. Some people are calling her “Poblacion Girl” online.
According to the Manila Standard, the incident occurred at a hotel in Makati City, and now about 15 people who had contact with Chua have tested positive for COVID-19.
The site reported, “Chua checked into the hotel on Dec. 22, attended the party on Dec. 23 and tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 27.”
On Twitter and TikTok, people are furious at Chua.
People made TikTok videos to call her out.
Here’s what you need to know:
Chua Skipped Quarantine to Attend a Party, Reports Say
According to the Manila Standard, the hotel is “under investigation” after being accused of allowing Chua to “skip quarantine protocols” when she arrived from the United States.
She attended a party, the news site reported.
It quoted a Teleradyo interview in which Interior Secretary Eduardo Año “identified the guest as a certain Gwyneth Chua. He said Chua had dinner in a restaurant and went to a bar after, reportedly in the Poblacion area.”
“The problem is that the people she was with for dinner and at the bar have already tested positive for COVID-19. About 15 have tested positive already,” the Interior chief said, according to Manila Standard.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat explained that Chua “admitted that she cut quarantine” at the Berjaya Hotel Makati.
Rappler reported that Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Dionardo Carlos said December 31, that he has “instructed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to file a complaint” against Chua. The site accuses Chua of paying the hotel to skip quarantine.
On Twitter, many people are tweeting, “Happy New Year, except to Gwyneth Chua.”
“Let me just release my frustration because of Gwyneth Chua aka ‘poblacion girl’ Your selfish and irrational action can now result to another drastic number of COVID-19 cases, knowing the fact that you have omicron variant, which cannot be easily detected but still denying it..” wrote one Twitter user.
People shared memes about Gwyneth Chua on Twitter and Facebook. But other people argued that politicians should get as much scrutiny as Chua.
The Department of Tourism Is Investigating After Chua Tested Positive for COVID-19
According to ABS-CBN news, the Department of Tourism (DOT) on December 30, 2021, “issued a show cause order against Berjaya Hotel Makati” due to the reports about Gwyneth Chua.
They demanded that the hotel explain in three days time why Chua had “escaped the hotel’s supervision,” and included a social media post to prove it. Chua tested positive for COVID-19, according to the news site.
“It has come to the attention of DOT that Ms. Gwyneth Anne Chua, a guest of Berjaya Hotel Makati, was allegedly able to leave your hotel and was seen in a bar in Poblacion, Makati on 23 December 2021 despite being under mandatory quarantine,” the DOT letter read.
“In the interest of due process, you are hereby directed to submit to this Office…. a written explanation why the hotel should not be penalized for violation of the foregoing issuances,” it added.
The hotel could lose its business permits, according to the news site. You can read the Department of Tourism letters in this story.
Social media users shared photos they said were of Chua, including a photo they said showed the party, but they could not be verified. Her Instagram and other social media accounts appear to be deleted. About 20% of tourists visiting the Philippines come from the U.S., according to Department of Tourism statistics.