PH health workers infected with coronavirus reach 5,008

The number of health workers who tested positive for the coronavirus rose to 5,008, with majority of infections seen among nurses and physicians. 

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday, August 3, that 4,576 of the 5,008 cases, as of August 1, had recovered, while 38 died due to the disease.

Among the 394 active cases, 258 or 65.7% were considered mild, 133 or 33.7% were asymptomatic. There were also two health workers in severe condition and one in critical condition. 

The DOH said the 5,008 medical frontliners infected included the following: 

  • Nurse - 1,734 
  • Physician - 1,100 
  • Nursing Assistant - 338 
  • Medical Technologist - 210
  • Radiologic Technologist - 119 
  • Midwife - 92 
  • Respiratory Therapist - 43 
  • Pharmacist - 41 
  • Non-medical Admin Staff - 407 
  • Utility - 161 
  • Dietary Staff - 73
  • Driver - 64
  • Barangay Health Worker - 50
  • Security Guard - 37 
  • Caregiver - 15

During the pandemic,  health workers who are severely infected with COVID-19 are supposed to receive P100,000 each, while the families of those who died from the coronavirus should get P1 million each. This was included in the Bayanihan law that expired last June 25. 

Despite this, the DOH said it would not need to wait for the Bayanihan 2 measure to be passed into law as the Department of Budget and Management’s Special Allotment Release Order that covers the funding requirements for the implementation of the law is valid until December 31, 2020.

The DOH gave assurances compensation for healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 was still ongoing and that claims will be continually processed until the SARO is valid. 

The latest toll of health workers infected by the virus comes as the medical sector pleaded with the government to implement a two-week “timeout” to revisit and refine the country’s strategies to curb the pandemic. 

Aside from compensation under the Bayanihan law, the DOH said all health workers will also receive benefits including free life insurance, P10,000 in hazard pay, routine testing, as well as free transport and accommodations to and from their workplaces.

As of Monday, the Philippines reported a total of 106,330 coronavirus cases, including 2,104 deaths and 65,821 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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