De Lima seeks Senate probe into rising number of healthcare workers getting COVID-19

Published June 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Leila de Lima has sought a Senate inquiry into the rising number of healthcare workers getting infected with COVID-19 in the country.

Senator Leila de Lima (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Senator Leila de Lima (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In filing Senate Resolution No. 442, de Lima said it is necessary for the Senate to probe the issue in order to identify and implement corrective measures, if not eliminate, the risk of contracting COVID-19 while they are performing 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,” de Lima said.

The senator pointed out the number of healthcare workers who tested positive for the coronavirus rose from 1,886 last May 7 to 2,314 on May 18, with the majority of infections reportedly seen in nurses and physicians. She said even the Alliance of Healthcare Workers expressed fears of more healthcare workers falling ill last June 2, or a day after easing the lockdown measures in Metro Manila by placing it under a general community quarantine (GCQ).

The group said more healthcare workers may resign because health authorities fail to address the rising number of infected healthcare workers. It can be recalled that the Filipino Nurses United criticized Health Secretary Francisco Duque III for blaming the medical workers for getting infected with COVID-19 pointing to their alleged bad habits in handling their protective personal equipment (PPEs).

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. The senator said the government should address the “sheer disregard for the situation” of healthcare workers in the country by holding accountable those responsible for neglecting the needs of the healthcare workers, she said.

“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 stressed.

 
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