MANILA -- Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) workers on Friday sought to be isolated after at least 110 frontliners from the hospital tested positive for COVID-19.
Nearly a third of the 180 health workers swabbed on Tuesday have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Philippine Orthopedic Center Employees Union head Sean Herbert Velchez told ABS-CBN News.
"The surge yesterday ay wala pong katulad since pumutok ang pandemic,” he said.
(The surge yesterday was like no other since the pandemic began.)
"Kinakabahan na kaming tataas talaga ang bilang ng nagpopositibong healthcare workers," he said.
(We are worried that the number of cases would really increase because a lot of healthcare workers tested positive for the disease.)
Most of the medical workers who caught the virus are either asymptomatic or with mild symptoms and have also received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Velchez said.
The development came as the country battles a surge of new COVID-19 infections, mostly recorded from Metro Manila, with some hospitals declaring full capacity because of continued fresh admissions.
Velchez said most of the workers share apartments or rent bed spaces in dormitories and boarding houses.
“Namomroblema lang po talaga kung saan mag-a-isolate dahil punuan na ang mga LGU at DOH facilities,” Velchez said.
(We are having a hard time looking for places where we could isolate because the facilities of LGUs and the DOH are already full.)
“Ang panawagan po talaga ay magtalaga at magbukas pa ng mas maraming isolation and treatment facilities dahil ‘yung mental anguish ay malala para sa mga health workers at mga kababayan natin na walang kakayahan mag-home quarantine," he said.
(We are urging authorities to open more isolation and treatment facilities because the mental anguish of health workers and patients who have no capacity to quarantine at home is worsening.)
"Ayaw nilang makahawa pa. Takot din sila sa stigma," he said.
(They don't want to be spreaders of the disease. They are also afraid of stigma.)
Some positive health workers opted to rent other accommodations or submit themselves to their respective barangays for isolation, he said.
On Thursday, the Philippine Orthopedic Center announced its Out Patient Department and Elective Surgery will be temporarily closed, citing rising cases of employees testing positive for COVID-19.
The hospital advised patients to use telephone consultations instead.