Dozens of medical workers from Cebu, Eastern Visayas to assist NCR vs. COVID-19

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Cebu and Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, April 6) - Some 70 healthcare workers from Cebu province and Eastern Visayas will be deployed to National Capital Region this month to provide assistance to hospitals struggling with the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health Region 7 in Cebu will provide 50 healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and medical technologists. They will arrive in Manila on April 7.

Aside from the medical workers, DOH-Region 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said an additional 200 blood products, including 40 units of fresh frozen plasma and 30 units of convalescent plasma, will also be sent to Manila.

Loreche assured the public Cebu has enough manpower in hospitals, saying the situation in the province has already "leveled off."

"With what we are doing right now, I am very confident that we will not be needing so much healthcare workers and not needing more beds than what we have because our critical care utilization is very very low at 31 percent. So we really are in the safe zone for our bed allocation and for our manpower," she said in a press conference.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Presidential Adviser to the Visayas is targeting to deploy 16 doctors and four nurses from Eastern Visayas within this week.

OPAV Undersecretary Anthony Gerard Gonzales is calling for more volunteers in the region to assist Metro Manila hospitals.

"We are also calling on the different provinces, yung mga governors na magpadala rin sila. I'm sure there are many nurses who do not have job at this time. Maganda naman yung package at meron namang incentives ang ibibigay ang OPAV at Project Balik Buhay na P5,000 every month for three months plus other benefits na ibibigay ng government," Gonzales said.

[Translation: We are also calling on the governors of different provinces to also send some. I'm sure there are many nurses who do not have job at this time. The package pays well and the OPAV and Project Balik Buhay will grant incentives of P5,000 every month for three months plus other benefits from the government.]

Metro Manila and four nearby provinces were again placed under enhanced community quarantine to control the rising cases of COVID-19 infections.

As of April 5, the NCR has the greatest number of COVID-19 cases among regions with 354,847 infections.

The country's COVID-19 cases have reached 812,760 as of Tuesday.

CNN Philippines' Cebu correspondent Dale Israel, Tacloban City correspondent Wilmark Ali, and Multi-Platform News Writer Vince Ferreras contributed to this report