Weekly tally of COVID-infected health workers in PH lowest since May last year

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2021 12:34 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2021 03:34 PM

MANILA — The Philippines logged 100 new COVID-19 cases among health workers last week, the lowest weekly tally since May last year, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG). 

The 100 new cases from January 31 to February 6 is the second lowest weekly tally next to the 58 logged during the second week of May 2020. The Department of Health only started regularly announcing the number of health workers infected with COVID-19 in April last year.

There are now 14,552 COVID-19 cases among health workers, which comprise 3% of the total 540,215 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines as of Feb. 9.

During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines, health workers comprised almost 20% of the total infections.

Of the total number of health workers with COVID, 98.1% have already recovered. A remaining 1.34% or 195 health workers are active cases or currently infected while 82 have died.

Of the active cases, 49.23% have mild symptoms, 40% are asymptomatic, 5.64% (11 cases) have severe symptoms, 4.1% (8 cases) are in critical condition and 1.03% (2 cases) have moderate symptoms of non-severe pneumonia. 

LATE REPORTING OF DEATHS

“When compared with the fatalities published in the DOH Beat COVID-19 Today Situationer, it appears that it took the DOH months to include some of the health workers in the official death tally,” ABS-CBN IRG said.

This is similar to the overall trend of late reported deaths, which became even more pronounced last month.

Weekly tally of COVID-infected health workers in PH lowest since May last year 1

According to ABS-CBN IRG, while only 4 health workers were announced as fatalities in July, after the late reports came in, the tally for that month turned out to be 12.

“In August, the DOH announced only two deaths among health workers, but data show that 13 health workers actually died that month. This is the biggest discrepancy between the number of health workers who died and the figures that DOH announced for the month,” the ABS-CBN IRG said.

The delay in reporting of some deaths took up to 3 months. 

DOH data showed that the 8 deaths reported from January 1 to February 1 were actually from previous months, which meant that the agency has yet to log deaths for 2021.

The 8 deaths reported this year included 2 physicians who actually died in October and November.

Doctors still comprise the largest number of fatalities — 33 out of the total 82. This is followed by nurses with 20 deaths, and administrative staff with 8.