COVID-19 cases among Filipino health workers saw uptick last week, says research

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2020 11:19 PM | Updated as of Dec 02 2020 04:57 PM

MANILA — COVID-infected health care workers in the Philippines saw a higher than usual increase last week, according to the latest Department of Health data.

From Nov. 22 to 28, COVID-19 cases among health care workers increased by 391, according to the data analyzed by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (IRG).

This is 100 cases higher than the 291 additional health workers logged from November 15 to 21.

Since the peak in COVID-19 cases among health care workers in September, the weekly tally of cases “went down dramatically and has stayed below 400 since Oct. 4,” the ABS-CBN IRG said.

One out of 5 infected health workers was recorded in September, which saw a total of 2,605 cases that month. The monthly count of cases went down by 42.19% to 1,506 in October, and further down to 1,250 from Nov. 1 to 29.

As of Nov. 29, the total number of health workers with COVID-19 have reached 12,425, which is 3% of the total number of cases in the Philippines.

Of the total number of health workers, 12,190 have already recovered and 76 have died. The latest fatality was a nurse.

“Physicians still make up the biggest proportion of fatalities, accounting for 4 in 10 deaths among health care workers (40.79%). This is despite the fact that more nurses have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 than physicians, with 4,420 nurses testing positive for the disease vs. 2,122 physicians as of Nov 28,” the ABS-CBN IRG said. 

The DOH previously said that large number of doctors died during the early months of the pandemic when patients were mostly in the emergency rooms. But they said more studies must be done to check the reason for this disparity. It also pointed out that most of the fatalities had pre-existing conditions.

According to the ABS-CBN IRG, of the 76 deaths, 18 were nurses and 31 were doctors.

Of the 159 active cases, almost half have mild symptoms, a third are asymptomatic, 17 health workers have severe symptoms, 11 are in critical condition and 4 have moderate symptoms such as non-severe pneumonia.

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