President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to look for funding sources to tap additional medical front-liners that will help in the country’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Duterte made the vow after National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government should find a way to raise the number of health workers like doctors and nurses in hospitals amid the prevailing pandemic.
In a meeting held at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday night, Galvez told Duterte that hospitals are struggling in attending to the needs of Covid-19 patients, as they are currently facing manpower shortage.
“Kailangan po talaga nating ma-solve ito kasi ito po, talagang lahat ng ospital, ang kanila pong dinadaing ay talagang kulang po sila ng mga doctor, nurses, at other related healthcare workers (We really need to address this because the complaint of all hospitals is they lack doctors, nurses and other healthcare-related workers),” Galvez said.
Duterte said he would exert all efforts to hire more healthcare workers.
“We will see what we can do. We will try to look for the money to have more recruits joining this fight against Covid,” he said in his taped Talk to the People delivered Wednesday night but aired Thursday morning.
Duterte also said a “good” salary could persuade medical personnel to join the continuing battle against Covid-19.
“The pay is good. Baka (Perhaps), we can convince more people to join us in this fight because I think the lure of a good salary is there. Medyo mataas na ngayon (It is higher now),” he said.
Hospitals in the country grapple with staff shortage as Covid-19 infections continue to soar.
The country on Wednesday logged 16,989 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total case count to 2,283,011.
There are around 170,446 active Covid-19 cases, 2,076,823 recoveries, and 35,742 fatalities.
In a virtual presser held Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Metro Manila has been placed under Alert Level 4 at the start of the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns and alert levels system to help stop the further transmission of Covid-19 in the country.
Roque said the downgrading of alert level would still depend on the Covid-19 daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and healthcare utilization rate.
“So, ito pong ating ginagawang pilot ngayon sa granular lockdown at saka alert level system, ito po ay titignan natin kung mas lalo nating mapapababa at mapapahina ‘yung pagkalat ng Covid-19 (We’ll see if this pilot implementation of granular lockdown and alert level system will help bring down the number of Covid-19 cases),” he said.
Roque said the government is expecting the success of the imposition of granular lockdowns with alert levels in Metro Manila.
“Dahil alam naman natin kung nasaan ‘yung mga kuta ng Covid-19, at siguro kapag ‘yun ang sinara talaga natin na wala talagang maglalabas pasok kundi mga health professional at OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), eh baka naman talaga ma-contain ‘yung pagkalat (Since we know the Covid-19 hotspots, perhaps, we could contain the virus because only health professionals and OFWs can go in and out),” Roque said.
Alert Level 4 refers to areas where case counts are high or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate are high, according to the guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Monday. (PNA)