PH health workers with coronavirus breach 2,000 mark

Pia Ranada
Another health worker has died, bringing the total coronavirus deaths among medical professionals to 35

FRONTLINERS. Medical technologists man booths at the new swabbing center at Palacio de Manila in Malate on May 5, 2020. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The number of health workers with COVID-19 surpassed the 2,000 mark on Tuesday, May 12.

The Department of Health (DOH) reported that 2,067 health workers – mostly nurses and physicians – have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of May 11.

Of these, 1,389 are active cases, including 7 health workers with severe symptoms. More than 70% (1,026) of these health workers still battling the virus reported mild symptoms while 25.6% (356 people) are asymptomatic.

One more health worker has died, bringing the total number of deaths among health workers to 35. Meanwhile, there are now 643 recoveries.

The most number of medical professionals infected with the virus are nurses, with 759 of them comprising the total of confirmed cases. Physicians come next with 631 testing positive, followed by nursing assitants (129), medical technologists (72), and radiologic technologists (39).

State of critical care facilities. The DOH also reported that the country has only 13,399 available beds dedicated to coronavirus patients.

Of these, close to 70% are isolation beds, 20% are beds in wards, while 10% are beds in intensive care units (ICUs).

A total of 5,313 beds (combination of all 3 types) are currently being used by patients.

The country is currently using 361 or 20% of its total number of mechanical ventilators. This means 1,489 are still available for additional severe cases. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier on Tuesday explained that the percentage of critical care facilities in use is among the factors considered when deciding to place a city or province under modified enhanced community quarantine.

The second factor is the speed by which coronavirus cases double.

An area with fast doubling time of cases and a high percentage of its critical care facilities already in use are considered “high risk” and will be placed under the strictest quarantine measures.

The Philippines has 11,350 coronavirus cases and 751 deaths from the virus as of Tuesday. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.