By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The city government of Davao may tap health workers listed as reservists in the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) to help the local government battle coronavirus disease (COVID-19) here, Mayor Sara Duterte said.
In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said the city might need AFP reservists to augment the city’s health response as she anticipated a possible surge in the number of COVID-19 cases here.
She added, however, the number of COVID-19 cases remained “manageable” based on the statistics released by local health authorities.
According to the Department of Health-Davao, there are 529 total COVID-19 positives in Davao Region as of June 29: 411 Davao City, 43 Davao del Norte, 21 Davao del Sur, 26 Davao de Oro, 24 Davao Oriental, and four Davao Occidental.
She said they wanted to tap the AFP reservists since only four health workers have so far heeded the call of the local government to “volunteer” in the fight against COVID-19 since March.
“Last March, we appealed for more volunteer health care workers. Right now, we only got four volunteers. We are looking for volunteers who want to help out of your love for your fellowmen and love for your city,” she said.
She also asked other health care professionals such as dentists, medical technologists, doctors, among others, to sign up as reserve health care workers, this being one of the preparations of the city in the event that it experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases.
She added the local government of Davao would not prohibit stranded individuals from returning here since the COVID-19 situation was currently manageable.
In a virtual press briefing on Monday, DOH-Davao Assistant Regional Director Lenny Joy Rivera said the regional task force on COVID-19 discussed measures it would be implementing as the region eases travel restrictions, receiving more returning overseas Filipinos and locally stranded individuals.
“The government has been doing all its best and all the strategies that should be implemented not only in Davao City but also in other provinces,” she said.
As of June 26, Dr. Ricardo Audan, chief of clinics and health emergency of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), said the hospital has conducted 2,700 tests for the frontline health workers, and has so far tested 56 for the coronavirus, with two deaths.
Of the 56 positives, 19 were doctors, 22 nurses, eight nursing attendants, one radiology technologist, and six hospital personnel.