MANILA – Hundreds of volunteer healthcare workers from the Visayas will be deployed to hospitals and other medical facilities in the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus) that is under enhanced community quarantine due to rising Covid-19 cases.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, according to a news release on Sunday, asked Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino to gather the island’s health workers who are willing to assist in the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
Go’s initiative aims to help augment personnel in areas with high Covid-19 cases.
“Magpapadala po ng nurses at iba pang medical personnel ang Visayas sa NCR Plus upang tumulong sa mga ospital na nangangailangan ng karagdagang front-liners dahil sa mabilis na pagtaas ng kaso ng Covid-19 sa lugar (Visayas will send nurses and other medical personnel to NCR Plus to assist in hospitals needing more front-liners because of rising Covid-19 cases),” Go said.
As of Saturday, overall recoveries reached 604,905 or 77.2 percent of the total confirmed cases after 599 new survivors were recorded.
Active cases are at 165,715 or 21.1 percent of the case count since March 2020.
The April 3 Department of Health (DOH) tracker showed NCR had 64,149 new cases in the past 14 days.
Project Balik Buhay
Go, through the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), sought the assistance of DOH regional offices, local government units, Malasakit Center hospitals, and Project Balik Buhay (PBB) private hospital members to implement the initiative.
PBB is a Cebu-based private sector-led organization which aims to help the public sector cope with the challenges brought by Covid-19 in Visayas.
Members of PBB are owners of private hospitals and businesses in Cebu. They have an open sharing of data and information in order to come up with policies and programs that best fit the evolving status of the pandemic.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. also welcomed the initiative and committed to help in processing the needs of health workers who are willing to be deployed.
“Patunay lamang po ito na sa kabila ng pandemya, malakas pa rin ang diwa ng bayanihan sa bansa. Mas mabilis natin malalampasan ang suliraning ito kung tayo mismong mga Pilipino ay magtutulungan (This is a proof that despite the pandemic, the bayanihan spirit prevails. We will get through this pandemic as long as we help one another),” Go said.
Under the PBB, OPAV will be in charge of deploying nurses.
The recipient hospitals will shoulder the accommodation, food and transportation needs of the front-liners once they arrive in Metro Manila, while the OPAV or the DOH Regional Center for Health Development will shoulder their transfer from any point in Visayas to NCR.
DOH also assured that they will be able to provide additional 20 percent premium of the basic salary for emergency hiring based on Bayanihan 2 funds.
Local chief executives in the Visayas said they will gather more volunteers, according to Go.
Aside from human resources, the initiative will deliver medical supply donations from the Visayas to Metro Manila. These include high flow nasal cannulas (oxygen-supply systems), and drugs such as Tocilizumab and Remdesivir.
OPAV, with the help of DOH Region 7 (Central Visayas), is also set to launch a convalescent plasma blood drive to address the growing needs in the NCR.
Go repeated his appeal to Filipinos to intensify the bayanihan (cooperation) spirit and show compassion to each other in order to help in the efforts to overcome the health crisis.
“Magtinabangay kitang tanan. Ang ating pagiging mga responsableng mamamayan na nagmamalasakit sa kapwa at nakikisama sa bayanihan ay ang susi sa ating mabilis na pag-ahon sa krisis (Let us help one another. Let us be responsible citizens and show compassion to hasten our recovery from this crisis),” he said. (PNA)