PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to deploy their medical corps to augment the country’s healthcare capacity, as the number of healthcare workers infected with coronavirus continues to increase.
“We have a dearth of supply of the human resource...I am ordering the medical corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, si Chief, if you are listening to me now, please place your human resources on ready, on deck because talagang, alam mo, ‘yan talaga ang -- ‘yan ang madali kong maasahan,” he said during his Talk to the People Address Wednesday, September 22.
“Makikiusap lang ako na tulungan ang mga kababayan natin. Eh kung wala na akong mahila dito, hila doon, eh kayo na kasi wala na akong ibang maasahan,” he added.
In response, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they have already provided nurses and doctors to St. Luke’s Hospital, which is among the hospitals in Metro Manila that are running at full capacity due to the spike of Covid-19 cases.
“At patuloy pa silang mangangalap sa mga probinsiya, sa mga services, Army, Navy, Air Force kung puwede pa silang magbigay ng mga nurses. At sa tingin ko po, Mr. President, sa mga darating na araw ay magkakaroon pa tayo ng mga nurses na puwede nating ipahiram sa mga hospitals sa Maynila,” he said.
Duterte said both public and private hospitals are also lacking manpower after their workers got the coronavirus and had to undergo quarantine.
PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar said they are still awaiting guidance from the chief executive but he already assured that they are ready to deploy their medical staff and other personnel with medical background.
As of September 22, the Department of Health has recorded a total of 2,417,419 Covid-19 cases in the country with 37,228 deaths and 162,580 active cases.
Of the active cases, 41,569 are in the National Capital Region.
The hospital bed utilization in Metro Manila was at 63.3 percent occupied. (SunStar Philippines)