The Department of Health (DOH) has canceled the deployment of health workers for hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) due to the steady surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases here in Eastern Visayas for the past days.
In a virtual presser on Wednesday, DOH-8 Director Minerva Molon said this is because some hospitals in the region are now experiencing shortage of manpower as more health workers got infected with the virus.
Based on its monitoring report, a total of 270 health workers have been infected in the region, with 126 recoveries.
Of the infected health workers, 133 are from Samar province, mostly employees of Samar Provincial Hospital (SPH) in Catbalogan City, where there is confirmed community transmission of the virus.
“Instead of sending them to Metro Manila, they will be sent to SPH starting Tuesday,” Molon said.
The regional office initially planned to pull out a total of 20 health workers composed of doctors and nurses from its retained hospitals in the region, for deployment in NCR this month.
The initiative was in response to the call of Health Secretary Francisco Duque to augment health workers to Luzon, particularly in NCR and Regions 3 and 4.
“We need them to stay here now. Just like what we did before in Tarangnan town also in Samar, we sent augmentation after several residents including health workers have been infected due to local transmission of the virus,” Molon said.
Since March, the region has confirmed a total of 2,363 total, including 1,439 and 16 deaths, the DOH said.
Of the total, 1,283 are locally stranded individuals from other regions, 1,200 are local cases, 75 are returning overseas Filipino workers, and three are Balik Probinsya, Balik Pag-asa program beneficiaries of the national government.
“We are now experiencing the second wave of Covid-19 infections. There is now evidence of more infectious strain of the virus as noted in the number of local cases reported in the past days,” Molon said.
With the degree of a widespread and high incidence of local cases, the DOH also declared local virus transmission in specific areas of Tacloban, Palo, Tanauan, and Alangalang all in Leyte and Villareal, Basey, Pinabacdao, and Hinabangan, all in Samar.
As of August 25, the region has 2,363 confirmed Covid-19 patients, including 1,439 recoveries and 16 deaths. The region has 909 active cases. (PNA)