160 frontliners test negative for Covid-19

(File photo)

SOUTHERN Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) reported that its health workers in the frontlines tested negative for the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

From March 31 to April 4, the hospital conducted a test for Covid-19 among its 160 staff who are working with patients under investigation or those who are already positive for the disease.

“All of them turned out to be negative. Out of the 160, nobody turned out to be positive in the frontlines,” SPMC chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega said this during a virtual presser by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

SPMC received a total of 5,000 Covid-19 testing kits. Within a week, they conducted testing on all their frontline healthcare workers who are working in the isolation facility, Emergency Room (ER), and Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Vega acknowledged that their health workers are vulnerable to contract the highly-infectious disease since they have direct contact with the patients. The results are seen to give relief to the workers and to allow them to work well.

“I think that’s the very essence of why we need to do it to prove that they are not sick and they can perform their duties well,” Vega added.

Earlier, Vega revealed that some of the SPMC employees including doctors and nurses contracted the virus after “breaking the protocol” while resuscitating an infected person without proper personal protective equipment. The medical professionals at that time didn’t know yet that the patient was positive.

Meanwhile, aside from their hospital employees, Vega said overall, they were able to test a total of 1,261 samples from March 18 to April 4. SPMC has been identified as one of the subnational laboratories of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The facility is the only hospital in Mindanao that has been given a certification to conduct testing and release the result of patients under investigation (PUI) to address the backlog in Manila.

“Out of the 1,261 tested, only 82 came out to be positive for Covid. In other words, we have 6.5 percent positive for all of the 1,261 tested for Covid,” Vega added, citing that the samples they get are not only limited in Davao Region but also from other parts of Mindanao.

He also said that as of April 6, they have 26 individuals admitted to SPMC, of which 24 are adults while two are minors. Of this number, four patients are critically ill and are intubated at the ICU. RGL


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