COVID-19 cases among health workers spike to 228 in 1 day

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2020 06:46 PM | Updated as of Jul 30 2020 12:52 PM

National Kidney Transplant Institute workers conduct a silent protest over current health and working conditions in the hospital in Quezon City on July 25, 2020. The workers cite rising COVID-19 cases among health workers without free swab testing, improper distribution to no proper work benefits, and understaffing due to resigning workers from the hospital. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — More health workers are contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19), data from the Department of Health (DOH) show. 

From 4,215 infected health workers on July 24, the number jumped to 4,443 on July 25, according to the DOH Beat COVID-19 Today Situationers analyzed by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. The 228 additional cases is the highest reported in a single day since April 28 when the DOH started regularly announcing the number of health workers infected with COVID-19.

The DOH said the spike could be due to community transmission. 

“We really assume right now - although further analysis is being done - na talagang because of community transmission. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit tumataas ang mga kaso ng health care workers sa ngayon,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

(We really assume right now - although further analysis is being done - that it is because of community transmission. This is the reason why we are seeing an increase in cases among health care workers now.)

“We all know there is community transmission,” she said, referring to the increase in cases in Metro Manila and other areas as the country gradually opens up its economy.

“Most of the health care workers prefer to go home kaysa mag-stay sa mga dorm na binibigay ng ating mga ospital,” she claimed, explaining that they might have gotten the virus in their community.

(Most of the health care workers prefer to go home instead of stay in a dorm provided by our hospitals.)

The new spike in cases among health workers came as nurses from government hospitals held a silent protest to call attention to the unreasonable workload they face and the spread of the disease among colleagues.

But Vergeire assured the public that they are also looking at infection prevention and control measures again, on top of the adequate supply of PPEs.

“Meron silang mga pamantayan for infection prevention at ito’y sinisiguro naman ng hospital management,” she said.

(They have standards for infection prevention and this is guaranteed by hospital management.)

Health workers are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, especially at the onset of the pandemic when there were not enough personal protective equipment.

At one point, almost 20% of the total confirmed cases in the Philippines were health workers.

ONE NEW DEATH

The COVID-19 situationer report also showed one new death among health workers, bringing the total number of their fatalities to 36.

The DOH said it will release more information on the doctor, who was announced dead on July 22 according to data.