By Betheena Unite
Cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines has reached 7,777, after 198 new cases were confirmed on April 27, Monday, the Department of Health said. Recoveries are now at 932 and death toll at 511.
A total of 70 patients have recovered, while 10 succumbed to the disease, according to the recent statistics.
It was also revealed that a total of 80,015 individuals have been tested for COVID-19, where 87.9 percent or 70,332 tested negative while 9,554 turned out positive for the disease.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also reported that a total of 1,245 healthcare workers have contracted the disease. Of this, 464 are doctors, 471 are nurses, others are nursing assistants, medical technologists, radiologic technologists, and midwives.
Meanwhile, the Filipino Nurses United (FNU) on Monday maintained that the main reason for the alarming increase of health workers getting infected with COVID-19 is the lack of protection within their workplace and not exposure from outside, contrary to the earlier statement of the DOH.
“The inadequacy of personal protective equipment (PPEs) compromises the safety, health, and lives of nurses. We have received reports that nurses do not eat, drink, nor take comfort room breaks so as not to soil or discard the PPEs. Furthermore, long duty hours of more than eight hours per shift or over 40 hours a week due to severe understaffing make them much more vulnerable to COVID-19 and other diseases due to weakened immune systems,” FNU said in a statement.
The group called on the Health Department “to safeguard health workers’ rights and guarantee to minimize exposure by limiting their work for an ideal eight hours, without compromising the required quarantine period.”
They also demanded that Emergency Infection Control protocols and guidelines be established for COVID-19, or a review of the same be conducted if there are any already in place.
“Concrete and adequate government support in terms of PPEs and other essential resources must be provided immediately,” they said.
They further appealed to the government to expedite the hiring of nurses and other healthcare workers to “ensure adequate staffing for our hospitals and communities.”