MANILA – Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo on Friday said all magistrates of the Supreme Court (SC) and himself have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Gesmundo assured SC’s commitment to the health and safety of its workers who continue to perform their duties amid the pandemic.
“We requested the National Task Force that we be upgraded to the (priority) category so we were provided with vaccines,” Gesmundo told newsmen during a “Meet The Press” online briefing.
Gesmundo said the SC must exert every effort to secure the collective well-being of its personnel.
The Judiciary is part of the A4 category which includes economic front-liners, uniformed personnel, and other workers in essential sectors.
“I mention this now following concerns raised by members of the legal profession of a looming judicial crisis, pertaining to the fears raised by many that the Judiciary would soon be hounded by the rising number of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and court employees contracting the virus that causes Covid-19,” Gesmundo said.
Data from the Supreme Court’s Covid-19 Response Team showed that as of June 3, 2021, a total of 1,994 employees of the SC, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and trial courts have contracted the virus since last year.
Of the total, 1,846 recovered, 33 died, and 115 are recuperating.
Of the 1,584 court workers who underwent quarantine, 213 were hospitalized, 33 stayed in facilities, and 972 opted for home isolation.
SC provided financial assistance while online hearings were conducted to lessen the physical exposure of employees and the public alike. (PNA)