Healthcare workers ‘overburdened’ as Davao region grapples with surging COVID-19 cases

Published November 5, 2020, 11:19 AM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Frontline healthcare workers are “overburdened” as Davao Region grapples with a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases following the easing of restrictions under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of Department of Health-Davao, said.

Tabada said that hospitals have claimed that many of the overburdened medical staff have either taken  longer leave or have resigned from work for their safety.

“The problem is, we’ve received reports that some have taken longer leave from work because, perhaps, they are afraid or worried if they stay in their post. That’s one. Second, there are those who resigned. Third, those healthcare workers, as claimed by hospitals and facilities, are quite overburdened, maybe it’s because there are just a few of them or the utilization has increased whether it’s for COVID or non-COVID,” she said.

Tabada also admitted that the healthcare system of the region is getting overwhelmed, expressing fear that this might affect the quality of medical services provided for the people as a consequence.

“The health care system is quite overburdened, and because of this, a lot of people are not able to get optimal care so, as a consequence, there could be an increase in cases and even, as you may have seen, an increase in morbidity and mortality. Ubay-ubay ang mamatay (We have quite a number of deaths),” she said.

‘Close contacts’ breaking 14-day self-isolation rule

DOH-Davao assistant regional director Lenny Joy Rivera also said that several “close contacts” have been breaking the 14-day self-isolation protocols as many of them still leave their homes after having interacted with a confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient.

In a virtual press conference, Rivera said many individuals who are supposed to be in home isolation while awaiting results of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, are not strictly observing the home isolation protocol.

She reminded them to take the minimum health standards seriously to curtail the transmission of the highly infectious disease.

Rivera urged those in home isolation to avoid moving around even if they do not manifest any signs and symptoms as some of them could turn out positive for infection and could potentially infect others.

“We should implement the minimum health standards like distancing and self-isolation, especially those who are undergoing testing. What is happening now is that even after they undergo the testing, they are still moving around. This is the reason why, when their results come out, they have several ‘close contacts’ already,” she said.
On August 11, the City Council of Davao passed an ordinance imposing a fine of P5,000 on all persons, including locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos who violate the mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

Authored by Davao City 3rd District Councilor Mary Joselle D. Villafuerte, the legislation provides that the city can “penalize all persons violating the mandatory 14-day home quarantine for COVID-19 imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) or any public health authority authorized to impose the same.”

Section 5 of the ordinance states this will apply to all asymptomatic returning OFWs, whether sea-based or land-based, subject to arrangements, and rules and regulations imposed by the governing authority; asymptomatic ROFs and holder of permanent resident visas; asymptomatic LSIs; asymptomatic healthcare workers with unprotected exposure, defined as working in a healthcare facility with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days without appropriate PPE; asymptomatic non-healthcare workers who test IgM positive in rapid tests, are required to undergo isolation at home or at a community quarantine facility for 14 days; and other such cases which require mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

The legislation also states that the DOH Center for Health Development Davao, City Health Office, Davao City Police Office, Punong Barangay, and respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Team will handle the monitoring.

As of November 4, the DOH-Davao reported 5,953 cases with 1,625 active, 4,116 recoveries, and 212 deaths. Of the total, 4,072 were reported in Davao City, 315 in Davao de Oro, 655 in Davao del Norte, 443 in Davao del Sur, 104 in Davao Occidental, and 364 in Davao Oriental.

As of Wednesday, Rivera said 845 of the 3,590 healthcare workers in the region have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center and satellite facility of Davao Doctors Hospital in Barangay Dumoy in the city and Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum are the COVID-19 referral hospitals in the region.

As of November 3, Rivera reported that 82.35-percent of the 50 ICU beds, 49.33-percent of 493  isolation beds, 70.25-percent of the 124 ward beds, and 43.10-percent of the 51 mechanical ventilators in the region have been utilized.

The entire city was placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from April 4 to May 15, general community quarantine (GCQ) from May 16 until June 30, and Modified GCQ last July 1 until the end of November.

Healthcare workers ‘overburdened’ as Davao region grapples with surging COVID-19 cases

By Antonio L. Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Frontline healthcare workers are “overburdened” as Davao Region grapples with a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases following the easing of restrictions under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of Department of Health-Davao, said.

Tabada said that hospitals have claimed that many of the overburdened medical staff have either taken  longer leave or have resigned from work for their safety.

“The problem is, we’ve received reports that some have taken longer leave from work because, perhaps, they are afraid or worried if they stay in their post. That’s one. Second, there are those who resigned. Third, those healthcare workers, as claimed by hospitals and facilities, are quite overburdened, maybe it’s because there are just a few of them or the utilization has increased whether it’s for COVID or non-COVID,” she said.

Tabada also admitted that the healthcare system of the region is getting overwhelmed, expressing fear that this might affect the quality of medical services provided for the people as a consequence.

“The health care system is quite overburdened, and because of this, a lot of people are not able to get optimal care so, as a consequence, there could be an increase in cases and even, as you may have seen, an increase in morbidity and mortality. Ubay-ubay ang mamatay (We have quite a number of deaths),” she said.

‘Close contacts’ breaking 14-day self-isolation rule

DOH-Davao assistant regional director Lenny Joy Rivera also said that several “close contacts” have been breaking the 14-day self-isolation protocols as many of them still leave their homes after having interacted with a confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient.

In a virtual press conference, Rivera said many individuals who are supposed to be in home isolation while awaiting results of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, are not strictly observing the home isolation protocol.

She reminded them to take the minimum health standards seriously to curtail the transmission of the highly infectious disease.

Rivera urged those in home isolation to avoid moving around even if they do not manifest any signs and symptoms as some of them could turn out positive for infection and could potentially infect others.

“We should implement the minimum health standards like distancing and self-isolation, especially those who are undergoing testing. What is happening now is that even after they undergo the testing, they are still moving around. This is the reason why, when their results come out, they have several ‘close contacts’ already,” she said.
On August 11, the City Council of Davao passed an ordinance imposing a fine of P5,000 on all persons, including locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos who violate the mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

Authored by Davao City 3rd District Councilor Mary Joselle D. Villafuerte, the legislation provides that the city can “penalize all persons violating the mandatory 14-day home quarantine for COVID-19 imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) or any public health authority authorized to impose the same.”

Section 5 of the ordinance states this will apply to all asymptomatic returning OFWs, whether sea-based or land-based, subject to arrangements, and rules and regulations imposed by the governing authority; asymptomatic ROFs and holder of permanent resident visas; asymptomatic LSIs; asymptomatic healthcare workers with unprotected exposure, defined as working in a healthcare facility with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days without appropriate PPE; asymptomatic non-healthcare workers who test IgM positive in rapid tests, are required to undergo isolation at home or at a community quarantine facility for 14 days; and other such cases which require mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

The legislation also states that the DOH Center for Health Development Davao, City Health Office, Davao City Police Office, Punong Barangay, and respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Team will handle the monitoring.

As of November 4, the DOH-Davao reported 5,953 cases with 1,625 active, 4,116 recoveries, and 212 deaths. Of the total, 4,072 were reported in Davao City, 315 in Davao de Oro, 655 in Davao del Norte, 443 in Davao del Sur, 104 in Davao Occidental, and 364 in Davao Oriental.

As of Wednesday, Rivera said 845 of the 3,590 healthcare workers in the region have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center and satellite facility of Davao Doctors Hospital in Barangay Dumoy in the city and Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum are the COVID-19 referral hospitals in the region.

As of November 3, Rivera reported that 82.35-percent of the 50 ICU beds, 49.33-percent of 493  isolation beds, 70.25-percent of the 124 ward beds, and 43.10-percent of the 51 mechanical ventilators in the region have been utilized.

The entire city was placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from April 4 to May 15, general community quarantine (GCQ) from May 16 until June 30, and Modified GCQ last July 1 until the end of November.

 
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