DOH: Filipinos must not discriminate against health workers fighting COVID-19

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2020 07:01 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Tuesday asked Filipinos to care for and not discriminate against health care workers who are frontliners in the battle against COVID-19.

“Hindi ito ang panahon para talikuran ang ating health care workers,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during a televised briefing.

(This is not the time to turn our backs on our health care workers.)

Vergeire said this following reports that health care workers are being evicted from their homes because of the widespread fear caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health official explained that while health care workers come from hospitals where there are COVID-19 cases, they also know how to practice infection prevention and control.

She said they have already relayed such reports to the inter-agency task force on the COVID-19 so that appropriate agencies may investigate and address the problem.

“Kami po ay nakikiusap sa ating sambayanan. Kami po ay nakikiusap sa atin mga kapwa Pilipino na sana kandiliin natin ang ating health care workers,” Vergeire said. “Alagaan po natin sila. 'Pag nagkasakit po tayo sila po ang mag-aalaga sa atin.”

(We are appealing to the nation. We are appealing to our fellow Filipinos. Let us care for our health workers. If we become sick, they are the ones who will take care of us.)

There have also been reports of health workers not being allowed to ride mass transportation at the onset of the pandemic.

“Sila ay nag-iingat pa rin para hindi makapanghawa ng iba,” Vergeire added.

(They are also being careful so they won’t infect other people.)

Vergeire also called on local government units to provide shelter for health workers in case such problems arise. 

She said health workers need enough rest so they can help the country in its fight against the spread of COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, there are 552 COVID-19 cases in the country. Of that number, 20 have already recovered and 35 have died.