The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday, April 22, reported that a total of 1,062 health workers had been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Of the total, 422 are doctors, 386 are nurses, 30 are medical technologists, 21 are radiologic technologists, 51 are nursing assistants, and 152 are other employees of health facilities.
Meanwwhile, 26 health care workers, including 19 doctors, have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
“We offer our condolences to the 26 healthcare workers who died of COVID-19,“ DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in Filipino.
With the latest tally, health workers now account for almost 16% of coronavirus cases in the country. As of Wednesday, the Philippines has 6,710 coronavirus cases, with 446 deaths and 693 recoveries.
On Tuesday, April 21, the World Health Organization said it was alarmed by the high number of health workers in the Philippines who had been infected with the coronavirus.
“The trend we are seeing in the Philippines, where the percentage is about 13%, is worrisome. In our region, it is around 2-3%. The Philippines is a bit of an outlier,” said Dr Abdi Mahamud, WHO-Western Pacific Region COVID-19 incident manager.
Mahamud was reacting to the DOH report on April 17 that 766 health workers in the country had been infected by the virus.
On Monday, April 20, the DOH confirmed that 43 personnel of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the scaling down of the country’s main testing center for the virus.
Members of the medical industry as well as health experts have long complained of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help shield them from the virus while doing their work.
The shortage of PPE sets and other protective gear has prompted volunteers and groups to donate improvised PPE to medical frontliners. The DOH earlier announced it had one million sets of PPE to be distributed to hospitals all over the country. – Rappler.com