DOH announces it will unveil a ‘recalibrated plan’ against pandemic

Published August 5, 2020, 8:15 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) said that it will come up with a “recalibrated plan” to protect the public and medical frontliners against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The DOH and medical societies are working together to produce a recalibrated plan and strategies in responding to COVID-19, including protocols in managing COVID-19 in hospitals,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday night, August 5.

“The updated guidelines will be released this week. It is our hope that through our joint efforts–the medical community, health providers, government units in the national and local levels—we will be able to address the concerns of our healthcare workers and frontliners,” it added. 

This was the response of the DOH when asked about the recent protest actions of medical frontliners, particularly from the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRRMMC) and the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital (DJFMH) in Manila, that expressed their deep concerns over their safety while combating the pandemic. 

A total of 50 healthcare workers were infected with COVID-19 at Fabella Hospital, said Dr. Margarita Esquivel, president of DJFMH-Employees Union Alliance of Health Workers in a statement last Tuesday, August 4. 

Esquivel urged the DOH to “take concrete plans on how to make a proper protocol to contain the virus.”

Employees of the JRRMMC also echoed the same concern, saying that there is still lack of personal protective equipment for medical frontliners, quarantine protocols are not strictly implemented, among others.  They also lamented the death of one of their colleagues named Judyn Bonn Suerte. 

“Judyn Bonn was among the 20 JRRMMC health workers infected with COVID-19. He was one  among the many health workers actively calling for protection against the virus,” said the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center Employees Union-Alliance of Health Workers in a statement last Tuesday. 

The DOH said that the JRRMMC will conduct an investigation regarding the death of Suerte. 

“According to JRRMMC Medical Chief Dr. Emmanuel Montana, an investigative body has been created to look into the death of their employee Judyn Bonn Suerte,” the department said. 

To note, the DOH said that the total number of infected healthcare workers is now at 5,153. Of these, 4,692 have recovered, 39 have died, and 422 were active cases, as of August 3.