Health workers in Davao City falling ill

File photo

THE Department of Health (DOH)-Davao said Tuesday, March 31, that eight healthcare frontliners, including five doctors and nurses, have tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and have been admitted at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

DOH-Davao Director Dr. Annabelle Yumang said that as of March 31, other healthcare workers were added to the list, but she has yet to get their results from the laboratory.

"Naa natay mga workers nga nag positive sa Covid (We have Covid-19 positive healthcare workers)," Yumang said.

SPMC chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega clarified that not all of the eight are employees of SPMC. Only five of the eight are working at their hospital.

"Covid can be anywhere. If you are a hospital worker, the greater chance, greater risk of getting Covid is always there," Vega said.

The other three health workers who have tested positive for Covid-19 are not from SPMC.

Vega said their healthcare workers contracted the virus after they resuscitated a patient who is infected with the respiratory disease in the emergency room without wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Their hospital workers were exposed to the infected person and later on tested positive during the swab testing.

"Kasi nag break sila ng protocol, kasi ang mindset kasi noon, baka wala pa silang Covid. But right now, we have changed the mindset of everybody that all of the people, patient that comes around, ang mindset should be they are all infected. So we get the necessary PPEs," Vega said.

Vega reminded the SPMC workers to follow the safety protocols now that local transmission has been confirmed. Whether a patient has not been confirmed to have the virus and does not manifest signs and symptoms, PPEs must be worn.

"Kung nag break ka kasi ng protocols dito in terms of behavior, in terms of physical attire or PPE, pag na-break mo 'yan even the gloving and everything, chances are [you will be infected]," Vega added.

Upon learning that there are positive SPMC workers, the SPMC management began to take samples from its personnel to ensure that they are negative.

The SPMC can now independently test and release the results of patients under investigation within 24 hours.

Vega said they are testing 50 frontliners every day to ensure that they are not contaminated and so as to not compromise the delivery of their medical service.


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