MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday said that at least 252 health workers in the Philippines have contracted COVID-19.
“Base po sa latest na datos na natanggap ng DOH, 252 na pong health care workers and confirmed na nagkaroon ng COVID-19,” Dr. Beverly Ho, special assistant to the health secretary, said during a televised briefing.
(Based on the latest data received by the DOH, there have been 252 health care workers who are confirmed to have COVID-19.)
Of the total, Ho said 152 are doctors while 63 are nurses. The health official did not specify the profession of the remaining 37.
Ho, meanwhile, confirmed earlier information that 12 health workers have already died of the disease- doctors who had attended to COVID-19 patients.
“Kumpirmado po na 12 ang pumanaw na health care workers dahil sa COVID-19,” Ho said.
(It’s also confirmed that there are 12 health care workers who have died because of COVID-19.)
Since the start of the pandemic, medical organizations have been paying tribute to the doctors who have died after acquiring COVID-19 while at work.
Health workers are now considered part of the vulnerable population who are being prioritized for COVID-19 testing.
Because they are in contact with coronavirus patients, there is higher risk that they will be infected.
Concerns have also been raised pertaining to the shortage in personal protective equipment, which has forced some health workers to use raincoats or garbage bags as their only form of protection against the virus.
It is unclear if there are more health care workers included in the latest count of 3,870 confirmed cases.
Ho said in the same briefing that they have been receiving incomplete data from hospitals.
“If the occupation field is left blank, we will never know from our database how many health workers were actually affected,” Ho said, explaining the difficulty in handling documents from hospitals.
She said the DOH has already required hospitals to submit their forms online by next week to allow faster consolidation of data.