Police to assist COVID-19 frontliners following reports of attacks, discrimination

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2020 11:53 AM

Hospital frontliners wear personal protective equipment as they man the entrance of the emergency room in the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo, Manila on March 24, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Philippine National Police will assist health workers leading the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday, following reports of attacks and discrimination.

Police personnel manning checkpoints were instructed to escort health workers to their assigned hospitals, the Cabinet official said as he noted that reported violence against COVID-19 frontliners will be dealt with the "full might of the law."

“For the added peace of mind of our health workers, PNP personnel manning Quarantine Control Stations are under instructions to assist them and escort them to their assigned hospitals," he said in a virtual press briefing.

"Hindi po tayo papayag na galawin ang ating mga bayani," he said.

(We will not let our heroes be harmed.)

Nograles made the remark after a hospital worker in Sultan Kudarat was doused with bleach while he was on his way to work.

"Threatening the safety of our health workers in the midst of this crisis is unacceptable, and the PNP (Philippine National Police) is committed to apply the full might of the law against those who dare to harm our health workers," he said.

In quarantined Luzon, Nograles said the government has provided 16 daily bus routes in Metro Manila and nearby areas to shuttle health workers to and from hospitals given the suspension of mass transportation.

The Department of Public Works and Highways meanwhile deployed 402 vehicles to ferry COVID-19 frontliners.

As a sign of support, the Department of Health earlier called on the public to wear red armbands as a sign of solidarity with health workers who are at the frontlines of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.