132 health workers in Cebu City infected with COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2021 09:25 PM

More than 100 health workers in Cebu City have been infected with COVID-19.

Cebu City Emergency Operations Center implementor and city councilor Joel Garganera said Monday that 132 health workers, who are Cebu City residents, contracted the virus in their line of work. 

They were assigned to 31 hospitals, clinics, facilities and laboratories in Metro Cebu.

"Just imagine they’re being isolated together with their close contacts in their workplace. That’s a big dent to our medical force," he said.

Garganera, however, believes that the transmission did not happen in the workplace alone. 

"I believe that the transmission happens not in the course of their work but in their private moments with other people or workers, such as eating when they do not wear a face mask," he added.

Based on Cebu City EOC data, 95 percent of these health workers are already vaccinated and are just in isolation, nursing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. 

"If not for the vaccines, they could get severe (COVID-19)," Garganera said.

With a shortage of healthcare workers in the city, authorities are now contemplating on giving incentives to those who would heed the call. 

Applications for healthcare workers are still being accepted by Cebu City Medical Center and the Department of Health. 

"The city has money to give incentives, just so they would help us," said Acting Mayor Mike Rama.

The number of active cases in the city has climbed to 3,016 as of Monday.

Meanwhile, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia has made sure that there is enough supply of oxygen tanks for the whole province.

In her latest executive order, she mandated manufacturers and dealers of 50 kg medical oxygen tanks to only sell to hospitals. 

Private entities or individuals may only buy oxygen tanks from manufacturers and dealers if there is a doctor’s prescription. 

The same will also only be limited to 20-pound tanks. 

"There is only a maximum of five tanks per entity or individual," the order read.

Trucks transporting medical oxygen will also be exempt from the truck ban in the province of Cebu.

- report from Annie Perez

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