Several hospitals cancelling request for manpower support as cases decline

Published October 6, 2021, 10:48 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

A number of hospitals in Metro Manila have withdrawn their request for manpower support from the national government as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continue to decline, a task force official leading the pandemic response disclosed Wednesday night, Oct. 6.

Defense Secretary And NTF Against COVID-19 Chairman Delfin Lorenzana attends President Duterte’s “Talk to the People” public address on Oct. 6, 2021. (Screenshot from RTVM livestream)

National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chairman Delfin Lorenzana said St. Luke’s Hospital and San Juan de Dios Hospital have cancelled their appeal for additional medical personnel due to the decreaasing number of cases in Metro Manila.

“Nagcancel na ang St. Luke’s at bumaba raw ang kanilang kaso sa ospital. Initially, mayroon silang request na isang doktor at limang nurses pero ayaw na nila tanggapin iyon (St. Luke’s has cancelled since the cases in their hospital have already declined. Initially, theywere requesting for an additional doctor and five nurses but they no longer want to accommodate them),” Lorenzana told President Duterte at the “Talk to the People” public address.

“‘Yong San Juan de Dios naman, Mr. President, nag-cancel na rin ng kanilang pangangailangan (San Juan de Dios Hospital also cancelled their additional needs),” the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary added.

Meanwhile, the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City asked for the retention of the eight medical personnel that were sent by the government to augment the hospital’s workforce.

“Kung pwede raw, hindi muna tatanggalin kasi hanggang October 30 sila at ang gusto pa nila humihingi pa sila ng isang doktor at two nurses (If it’s possible, they requested not to withdraw the additional manpower until October 30 and they also asked for an additional doctor and two nurses),” Lorenzana said.

The Defense Secretary ordered the Surgeon General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Colonel Fatima claire Navarro, to prepare the deployment of the requested force to SPMC.

On the other hand, Lorenzana said that the Sta. Teresita General Hospital in Quezon City has yet to report if they need an additional manpower or not.

The AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) previously committed to deploy military and police medical personnel in hospitals which are in need of manpower support due to the recent surge of cases caused by the spread of the Delta variant.

However, recent observations revealed that the country’s COVID-19 reproduction rate continued to be below one, 0.76 percent to be exact, which manifests a downward trend of cases, according to independent research group OCTA. The reproduction rate determines the number of persons being infected by a single case.

The COVID-19 surge has slowed down in several key areas like Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, the research group added.