Nearly 10K medical frontliners afflicted with COVID-19:DOH

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    ALMOST 10,000 healthcare workers have been afflicted with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), based on data of the Department of Health.

    The DOH said 9,344 healthcare workers have been found positive for COVID-19 as of September 25 but only 691 (7.4 percent) are active cases.

    Of the active cases, 383 (55.4 percent) are mild, 273 (39.5 percent) are asymptomatic, 23 (3.3 percent) are severe, and 12 (17 percent) are critical.

    There were 8,593 (92 percent) patients who have recovered and 60 (0.6 percent) who have died.

    The DOH has no figures on how many healthcare workers are involved in efforts against the pandemic.

    Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire expressed hope that the number of virus-hit medical frontliners will not surge, like during the first few months of the pandemic early March.

    This can be achieved if patients will be honest with their conditions when they seek consultation, she said.

    “If we can recall, many healthcare workers got sick and died in the first few months (of the crisis) because patients weren’t telling their true symptoms,” she said.

    “We hope that such incidents will no longer happen again so that they won’t infect our healthcare workers,” she added.

    The DOH is appealing anew to medical professionals to consider applying in its emergency hiring program.

    “While we have sufficiently filled up the slots for our human resources for health (HRH), the Department continues to appeal to those with medical training to join in the response,” it said.

    The agency said it is offering additional benefits to attract more healthcare workers (HCWs).

    “An additional provision for compensation to HCWs, who have contracted mild COVID-19 infections in the amount of P15,000, was established, along with the provision of lodging and transportation,” said the DOH.

    DOH data showed 8,822 HRH hired out of 11,399 approved slots for emergency hiring in 338 health facilities.

    Of those hired, 40.8 percent were hired in DOH hospitals, 16.6 percent in COVID-19 diagnostic facilities, 15.4 percent in temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, and 13.0 percent in local government unit and other hospitals.

    The renewed appeal comes after President Duterte eased the healthcare worker deployment ban. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque last week said healthcare workers with complete documents as of August 31 are allowed to be leave for work abroad.