‘Young trainee with a bright future’: PH Heart Center doctor succumbs to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — A doctor working at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) has passed away after battling the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
Dr. Israel Bactol, an adult cardiology fellow, died on Saturday at 10:11 a.m., the hospital announced on its website.
“It’s a very sad day for the Philippine Heart Center. We lost our second year Adult Cardiology Fellow, Dr. Israel Bactol,” said PHC executive director Dr. Joel M. Abanilla in a bulletin on Saturday that mourned the loss of the doctor.
Abanilla said that Bactol did not have direct contact with coronavirus patients and was not in any of the COVID-19 wards. “His symptoms actually began even before the community quarantine got off. An assiduous contact tracing continues,” he said in the statement.
The executive director recalled when the news of Bactol’s death was announced. “We got wind of it in the midst of our Incident Command Post (ICP) morning meeting. We paused, we prayed with a few unable to control their tears,” he said.
“We can only question why this young trainee with a promise of a bright future as a would have been cardiologist had to be the one to go. We have no answers.
“Yet we rest on God’s reassurance that He reigns Supreme and that He is in control. We need to collect ourselves, no matter how heavy are hearts are and move on for the sake of those who continue to need our services now more than ever,” he added.
PHC has five health care workers positive for coronavirus as of Saturday. It has 15 patients under investigation and 102 patients under monitoring.
As of Sunday, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines rose to 380 with a death toll of 25.
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