'Everyday battle': Medical frontliners in Medical City start day with a prayer

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2020 08:01 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2020 09:53 PM


MANILA - Facing mounting pressure and fatigue due to the rising number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, medical frontliners have sought refuge in the Lord in combatting the invisible enemy.

Gathered in a circle, doctors and medical workers in full protective gear begin their tough day with a prayer, as seen in a photo posted by Medical City Emergency Room nurse Steven Mari.

"Lord, sana matapos na 'to (Lord, I hope this ends soon)," Steven said in his now-viral Facebook post.

The Medical City, one of the premier health institutions in the country, said Friday that 150 of its health personnel -- including doctors and nurses -- are in quarantine after being exposed to at least 18 coronavirus patients.

The hospital's president and CEO Dr. Eugenio Ramos said the number increased, with 10 of the total placed in isolation just that day.

Medical workers are exempted from the Luzon-wide expanded community quarantine, but many are forced to walk to their workplaces because public transport systems were shut down.

Many of them are also inadequately protected, with government hospitals seeking donations of face masks and other protective equipment.

As of Saturday, the Philippines has recorded 307 cases of COVID-19, with 19 deaths and 13 recoveries.

Worldwide, there are more than 234,000 coronavirus cases, with 9,840 deaths, according to data of the World Health Organization (WHO).