De Lima seeks probe on rising number healthcare workers infected with COVID-19


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed alarm over the spike in the number of cases involving healthcare workers getting infected with COVID-19 in the country.

De Lima filed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 442 directing the appropriate Senate committee to investigate the number of infected cases of healthcare workers to implement urgent corrective measures and minimize, if not eliminate, the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the course of the performance of their duties.

“While keeping the number of infected cases at bay, the State must also mobilize its resources to strengthen our healthcare system tasked with the most important role of treating those who are infected,” she said.

On May 18, the number of healthcare workers who tested positive for the coronavirus rose to 2,314 from 1, 886 last May 7, with majority of infections reportedly seen in nurses and physicians.

Last June 2, or a day after easing the lockdown measures in Metro Manila by placing it under a General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the Alliance of Healthcare Workers expressed fears that more healthcare workers may resign because health authorities fail to address the ever rising number of COVID-19 infected healthcare workers.

Roughly two months prior, it can be recalled that the Filipino Nurses United lambasted Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Francisco Duque III for blaming the medical workers for their alleged bad habits in handling their PPEs as the reason why most of them get infected with COVID-19.

The group of nurses argued that the inadequacy of PPE and long hours of duty without breaks have compromised their safety and health, making them much more vulnerable to COVID-19.

De Lima said the sheer disregard for the situation and state of healthcare workers in the country and the continued complaints of the slow response of the government to the current public health crisis should not be tolerated and be appropriately addressed by the government by implementing immediate corrective measures and holding those responsible accountable.

“The invaluable service and heroism of healthcare workers especially during a time where the risks that they are being exposed to are exponentially greater, should not be disregarded, but instead recognized by ensuring that their health and lives are likewise prioritized and protected,” she said. (30)

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