MANILA - Private hospitals designated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cebu City are full and nurses would like to quit as they fear for their life, a doctor there said Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte reverted the city to strict lockdown or enhanced community quarantine starting June 16 from general community quarantine due to the rising number of infections.
Dr. Peter Mancao, public relations officer of the Cebu Medical Society, urged government to provide the "correct" personal protective equipment for health workers to boost their morale.
"Our problem is also the staffing, 'yung nurses are afraid. I was talking to our CCO (chief clinical officer) nurse, they’re going to resign because they’re afraid. I think we have to…if you're in a war, dapat mag-retreat muna tayo, re-arm, yung nurses are very low in morale," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Our problem is also the staffing, the nurses are afraid. I was talking to our CCO (chief clinical officer) nurse, they’re going to resign because they’re afraid. I think we have to…if you're in a war, we should retreat first, re-arm, the nurses are very low in morale.)
"Give them the proper masks, I’m speaking for all the healthworkers here, 'yung (the) proper PPE, maybe increase their salary so they can eat well and they are healthy. As far as hospitals, maybe an incentive for them to take in more COVID patients," he added.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas has deployed more nurses to private hospitals and provided additional PPEs, according to spokesperson and chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche.
Mancao also proposed for COVID-19 designated hospitals to focus on the virus for a month as he said some are retrofitting their regular ICUs to accommodate more patients.
"If you go to the ER practically anybody there is intubated. The waiting time to get in, speaking from a personal experience from my relative, they called in at 11 a.m., they were admitted to the ER at 8 in the evening. By 10 p.m. the patient was intubated," he said.
"My take is if patients who come to ER are taken cared of, the system is taken cared of, there is no waiting time, nobody will complain,we are okay. But I think we have to correct that before we go back to GCQ or normal."
Mancao said local officials must inform the public to observe proper hygiene such as handwashing, wearing of face masks and implement physical distancing.
"We have to go back to the local governments and barangays and tell them we have to be very serious ngayon (now), double our efforts because why do we have cases because we did not prevent. We should go back to the drawing board and double our efforts for prevention," he said.
As of Wednesday, Cebu City has logged 4,216 cases of COVID-19, with 328 recoveries and 69 deaths.
The Philippines has recorded 32,295 coronavirus infections, of which 8,656 patients recovered and 1,204 died.