Hospitals told to beef up infection control as more health workers catch COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2021 02:21 PM | Updated as of Apr 14 2021 02:32 PM

Health workers sort patients' files at a triage area in Santa Ana Hospital, where a sign indicating that the hospital's COVID-19 facility is at full capacity is displayed, in Manila on April 9, 2021. Lisa Marie David, Reuters

MANILA - The Department of Health on Wednesday urged hospitals to implement tighter infection prevention and control policies as many health workers were infected with COVID-19 amid surge in infections.

"Because COVID-19 cases are increasing, many of our health-care workers got sick. That's why we are implementing stricter infection prevention and control management in each of our hospitals," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told Teleradyo in Filipino.

Data from DOH showed that new coronavirus infections among healthcare workers reached their highest weekly tally in the last 6 months.

From April 4 to April 10, the Philippines reported 399 new COVID-19 cases among medical frontliners. Of the new cases, almost half or 170 were nurses, 53 were doctors and 22 were medical technologists.

Coronavirus-related fatalities among healthcare workers also increased by 4 after not having any recorded deaths for more than a month. 

To date, the total number of health-care workers who have contracted COVID-19 reached 16,510. Of those, 86 died and 628 are currently infected. The rest have recovered.

In the interview, Vergeire said the DOH regularly provided hospitals personal protective equipment (PPE) and other resources.

Health-care facilities are also urged to regularly test their employees for COVID-19, she added. The tests could be done every 15 days or every month.

Vergeire said the government also provided health-care workers additional incentives, additional hazard pay and risk allowance.

Medical frontliners must also be given accommodation and free meals when they are on duty, she added.

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