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In Negros Occidental, health workers get harassment, dread in return for risking their lives vs COVID-19

/ 07:26 PM March 26, 2020

BACOLOD CITY—A ranking official of Negros Occidental appealed to people to stop treating hospital workers like the dreaded COVID-19 disease from which they are trying to save lives at the risk of their own.

Rayfrando Diaz, the province’s administrator, said people must instead support those on the frontlnes of the fight against COVID-19.

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“Please let us not fight them. Instead, we need to show our all-out support for these people. We need to support each other in this time of crisis,” he said.

In a letter, Chuck Estrella, of the Riverside Medical Center Inc. (RMCI), asked for the help of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to help stop discriminatory practices against hospital workers.

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“Help us make the people see that we are working for their own good. Help us explain that we take very strict precautions to protect ourselves so we don’t carry the virus to others or to our loved ones,” Estrella said.

After news broke out about the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in Bacolod City, people were treating hospital employees differently.

Estrella said some employees have been denied rides on pedicabs or jeepneys because they worked at the hospital. Some were denied entry at small offices while others were verbally attacked by a policeman.

Worse, he said, some employees were asked to vacate the places they were renting because the landlord and their neighbors feared possible contamination.

“Despite the effort that we put forth and the sacrifices we make in not being with our families and risking our health, we are confronted with another battle as soon as our shift at the hospital ends. We now have to face discrimination coming from our own,” Estrella said.

Edited by TSB

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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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