Over 1,000 health workers infected, 26 dead due to COVID-19

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The Department of Health said more than 1,000 healthcare workers in the country were positive for the coronavirus disease, most of whom are doctors. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 22) — The Department of Health said more than 1,000 healthcare workers in the country were positive for the coronavirus disease, most of whom are doctors.

The agency broke down on Wednesday the 1,062 infected healthcare workers, namely, 422 doctors, 386 nurses, 30 medical technologists, 21 radiological technologists, 51 nursing assistants and 152 other medical personnel such as administrative staff and barangay health workers.

Of the number, 26 are dead, including 19 doctors.

The World Health Organization expressed concern over the number of healthcare workers with COVID-19 in the Philippines. Dr. Abdi Mahamud, WHO-Western Pacific Region COVID-19 Incident Manager, said he is working with the DOH to find out if there is a possible shortage of personal protective equipment causing this trend.

The DOH maintained that it is following WHO-guided protocols on the use of PPEs for medical frontliners.

The agency is also working with local manufacturers on producing more sets.

On Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque attended the turnover of 10,000 locally-made PPEs to the Philippine General Hospital, the first batch from 300,000 sets that will be delivered to the hospital and other facilities. This comes on top of its earlier purchase of one million sets which have been arriving in batches in the country since April 1.

The agency also assured that there are negative pressure isolation rooms in hospitals that prevent the spread of the virus.

The DOH on Tuesday also confirmed that 62 employees and 13 patients from the National Center for Mental Health were also infected while at least 40 people from its primary testing facility, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, also got the disease. However, DOH clarified that the RITM staff did not contract the disease from processing test samples.