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MANILA, Philippines – The total number of coronavirus-positive medical staff on the outbreak’s front lines has reached 1,101, the Department of Health said in an online briefing Saturday, April 25.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire broke down the total into the following: 434 physicians, 400 nurses, 55 nursing assistants, 32 medical technologists, and 21 radiologic technologists. Of these, 26 have died – 20 doctors and 6 nurses.
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.
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.
As of Saturday, there are now 7,294 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines, with a total death toll of 494, and recoveries of 792. – Rappler.com