MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is in close coordination with the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) following its confirmation that 117 of its staff tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), a health official said Monday.
In an online media forum, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it would be “rather inappropriate” to say that many of the POC employees “demand” a better place to stay to avoid Covid-19 transmission among them.
“Kami naman ay nakikipagtulungan sa kanila. (We’re coordinating with them) As of yesterday, we were able to already provide hotel facilities to some of their healthcare workers. I think it’s about 36 individuals that we’ve transferred,” Vergeire said.
She noted that 40 POC staff members who are positive for Covid-19 are admitted to the hospital.
“Ayon naman sa kanilang administration ay sukat na yung kanilang healthcare workers doon. We’re still awaiting kung sino pa ang kailangan ng admission sa mga hotel facilities natin at mayroon na tayong nakahanda para sa kanila (Their administration said they have enough healthcare workers there. We’re still awaiting who else needs admission to our hotel facilities and we have prepared a place for them),” she added.
As for the extended working hours of the employees, Vergeire reported that POC’s management has changed its shifting schedules for infection prevention and control.
Meanwhile, Vergiere assured there is enough supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers amid an increasing demand for it.
“As the cases rise, you will need more logistics like PPE. For example, when we were just averaging 400 cases in the NCR in early January, so ang kailangan mo lang mag-PPE ka doon sa 400 cases, pero ngayon ang kaso natin ay naga-average na ng anim na libo mahigit mas maraming kailangan sa PPE (you just need PPE for the 400 cases, but now we’re averaging more than 6,000 cases so we need more PPE),” she said.
The DOH has been providing additional augmentation to hospitals, she added. (PNA)