More Than 750 Doctors, Nurses, Health Workers Test Positive for COVID-19
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announced today a total of 766 Filipino health workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19): 339 are doctors and 242 are nurses.
"Unfortunately, 22 of these healthcare workers have lost their lives to COVID-19," Vergeire said in a televised news conference.
The DOH also announced on Facebook it is conducting emergency hiring of medical workers. It is looking for physicians, nurses, medical technologists, respiratory therapists, medical equipment technicians, and even ambulance drivers.
Monthly compensation and benefits include P500 a day COVID-19 hazard allowance, P1,000 a month communication and transportation allowance, and hospitalization benefits shouldered by PhilHealth among others.
The health personnel hired shall be deployed first to DOH-designated COVID-19 referral hospitals and then to temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.
According to Dr. Oscar Tinio, spokesman and former president of the Philippine Medical Association, the staggering number of deaths of healthcare workers is due to the fact that some patients have lied to doctors about their travel history or whether they were exposed to the virus.
Other countries have also seen an increase in the number of frontliners succumbing to the disease after being exposed to countless of infected patients. Vergeire also said some healthcare workers contracted the disease because of the lack of protective gear.
"Most doctors got the disease because we lacked the necessary protective equipment to be used against it," she said.
As of today, April 17, there are now a total of 5,878 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. Since the start of the pandemic, 487 patients have recovered and 387 have died.
For the latest COVID-19 cases, check out our reportr COVID-19 case tracker link.
For the latest news and updates on COVID-19, check out reportr.world/covid-19.