By Franco Regala
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA – Medical personnel of two main coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) centers here have been offered free temporary hotel accommodations amid mounting concerns of discrimination because of the coronavirus panic.
Board Members Ananias “Jun” Canlas Jr. and Anthony Joseph Torres said the free hotel accommodations were being offered to health personnel of the Disodado P. Macapagal Memorial Hospital (DPMMH) and Jose B. Lingad Regional Memorial Hospital (JBLRMH).
DPMMH has been designated as center for persons under investigation (PUI) while JBL is the regional hospital that caters to complicated cases, including COVID-19 positives.
“Governor Dennis Pineda has decided to provide the accommodations due to discrimination experienced by the healthcare workers in their respective boarding houses where the owners want them to temporarily vacate the housing facilities to avoid the possible spread of COVID 19 in their respective areas,” the board members said.
Canlas said other health workers preferred not to leave the hospital premises due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine and concerns of possible contamination and infection of their families.
The officials said that the temporary shelter is a hotel-like facility with a 70-room capacity that can accommodate two personnel in every room with consideration to physical or social distancing.
The hotel located in this city was offered by the provincial government to assist the frontline health care workers in their temporary accommodation until such time that COVID-19 would be contained in the province, according to Torres.
Aside from the hotel accommodation, the governor will also provide free food provision and transportation for the said health care workers who would like to go to the hotel or report for work at the said hospitals as an act of compassion and solidarity.
Through this, the provincial government can easily manage to full-out off-duty medical personnel from the hotel in case an urgent need exists and their services are needed, he added.
The officials, meanwhile, lamented the lack of healthcare personnel in the province as some underwent mandatory quarantine due to exposure to some suspected COVID 19 patients.
Initially, 55 personnel from DPMMH and 30 from JBLRMH signified their intention to accept the offer by the provincial government.
It can be recalled that public transportation has been suspended due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine that took effect recently.
Public utility buses, jeepneys, tricycles and vehicles under transport network services were not allowed to ply the streets.