Belmonte appeals to hospitals: assure safety of health workers
Mayor Joy Belmonte appealed to all hospitals in Metro Manila to do more to protect healthcare workers as data showed a high infection rate of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among citizens of Quezon City who work in the city’s more than 50 public and private hospitals.
“We implore hospital owners and administrators to provide safer working conditions, more personal protective equipment (PPE), and free virus testing to their staff and medical professionals,” said Belmonte, stressing that failure to do such would lead to more cases and bring so much harm.
“They are already overwhelmed and exhausted. We must do our best to protect them as much as they care for our people,” she added.
Based on the latest data by the Department of Health, 390 citizens of the city who are healthcare workers have been infected with COVID-19 as of May 11.
This figure constitutes 24.7 percent of the city’s total COVID-19 cases, which stands at 1,578 on the same date.
Most of these affected individuals are doctors, nurses, radio technologists, attendants, and drivers among others, who work in hospitals in other cities. Data also reveals that many of the city’s recorded cases can be directly traced to health workers’ family and household members.
“Besides putting our own frontliners at risk, leaving them unprotected and untested may cause them to become carriers of the deadly disease to their family and community,” said Dr. Rolando Cruz, Head of QC-Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.
Cruz said an example of this would be the latest report where a healthcare worker from Barangay South Triangle has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 and infected some of her family members.
He suggested that hospitals should consider providing their staff comfortable temporary housing facilities where the latter can opt to stay after duty.
“A safe and convenient facility where they can rest physically and mentally would be beneficial. Being away from their family for the meantime will keep them from worrying that they’re putting loved ones at risk,” said Cruz.
A study conducted by the city’s planners indicate that barangays close to hospitals, where many hospital workers live or rent homes have the highest viral attack rates in the city.