Malacañang on Thursday expressed concern over the number of health workers that have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), saying it might affect the country’s capability to treat patients.
“Siyempre po nababahala ang gobyerno dahil kapag tuluyang magkakasakit ang mga frontliners natin eh sino po ang mag-aalaga doon sa magkakasakit sa atin,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
The Department of Health reported on Wednesday that 1,062 healthcare workers have contracted the new coronavirus, of which 26 have already died.
Roque said the situation calls for strict implementation of safety protocols and deployment of more sets of personal protective equipment.
He also said Chinese medical experts recommended the hiring of medical personnel.
Last week, the DOH submitted to the Department of Budget and Management the proposal for the hiring of additional 17,757 personnel (15,757 human resources for health and 2,000 deputized physicians) for COVID-19 response.
The additional medical personnel will be deployed in priority health facilities including the Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
The cost of this project was pegged at P5.2 billion.
The Philippines has so far recorded 6,981 COVID-19 cases, with 462 deaths and 722 recoveries. — RSJ, GMA News