FOLLOWING reports of discrimination and assault against healthcare workers, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa has directed all police units to provide all the necessary assistance and security to the medical frontliners in the battle against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“At this time of national health emergency, the Philippine National Police stands doubly committed to apply the full might of the law against any person who will lay hands on our health workers, thus, we shall do whatever it takes to protect them from crime, violence, and any form of oppression and discrimination,” he said.
“For added peace of mind of our health workers, PNP personnel manning Quarantine Control Stations are under instructions to extend utmost assistance to them, to include escorting them to their assigned hospitals, if need be,” he added.
In Cebu City, two unidentified assailants splashed chlorine on a male nurse who was on his way home on March 27. In Sultan Kudarat, five men splashed Zonrox on an employee of the St. Louis Hospital based in Tacurong City.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday vowed to do everything in his authority to protect health workers against any attacks.
“Our countrymen in the medical profession are our front liners in the war against Covid-19. Just like our police officers, soldiers and other men and women in uniform, they wage a lonely but relentless battle against this disease everyday 24/7 to keep our nation safe. The last thing they need right now is discrimination when all they do is save lives and protect each and every one of us from an enemy we cannot see,” he said.
Año said he has ordered the deployment of policemen in the vicinity of hospitals to prevent attacks on health workers.
He also urged local chief executives to take steps to protect the healthcare workers, such as providing free transport and lighting up the streets leading to medical facilities.
“During this health emergency crisis, the least that we can do is to make sure that our health front liners are safe and protected as they continue to take care of the sick and save lives as we all confront the Covid-19 global pandemic,” he added.
Año has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the inlectious pathogen that causes Covid-19. (SunStar Philippines)