Who's in charge of medical logistics? Nancy Binay deplores gov't's jumbled response to coronavirus | Inquirer News

Who’s in charge of medical logistics? Nancy Binay deplores gov’t’s jumbled response to coronavirus

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:01 PM April 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday was disappointed with the national government’s apparent lack of foresight in anticipating the required medical logistics needed to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

The legislator noted that the government failed to factor in a well-moving medical supply chain that should’ve helped protected thousands of health workers from the virus.

More than 250 health workers have already been infected with COVID-19, with many people dying of the virus, a month into the enhanced community quarantine that President Rodrigo Duterte implemented.


“This is unacceptable that we’re one month into the ECQ but we still don’t have any idea, or even projections, on how many ventilators are needed once we reach the peak in the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients,” said Binay, in Filipino, in a statement.


“We don’t know how many cot beds, surgical gowns, face masks, body bags, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies are needed by every hospital or quarantine facility each day.”

Binay added that no one from the government or the Inter-Agency Task Force had been designated as the one in charge of medical logistics, which could’ve ensured a steady stream of medical supply in hospitals battling the virus.

Basing on medical workers’ accounts, Binay inferred that a failure to survey the needs of public and private hospitals raised alarms on the shortage of supply, personnel, and government support at nearly every stage of the COVID-19 treatment process.

“We’re one month into the lockdown, but no government unit is accountable or anyone from IATF is in charge of medical logistics, there should’ve been someone in charge to make sure testing kits, PPEs, swabs, face masks, ventilators, beds, linens, all the medical components and the right equipment needed in fighting COVID-19 are continuously sourced, provided, and deployed to where they need be,” said Binay.

“What we need a long time ago is a cohesive response to the pandemic. Doctors, nurses, and health workers are ready to sacrifice and serve, leave their families behind, and risk their lives during this public health emergency. But government must also show that it truly cares—not by asking them to die for the country—but to provide them with life-saving resources necessary to allow them to save the lives of thousands more.”

Binay also questioned how the Department of Health used the P2.25-billion budget that was supposed to be used to purchase personal protective equipment for 5,000 health workers.


She added that it was back in January that DOH said it was on top of the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines after a woman from Wuhan, China, the ground zero of the virus, became the country’s first carrier.

A 44-year-old Chinese male then died on February 1 in the Philippines, the first death registered outside of China.

It’s also been apparent that there has been a massive influx of Chinese citizens since Duterte assumed presidency due to the proliferation of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators that employs mostly foreigners from Mainland China.

“We lack the aggressiveness to act on time, it was in January that DOH said it was on top of the situation,” said Binay. “It’s been four months since what happened? Protecting the health of our people and maintaining our readiness to supporting the public health system should’ve been the first in the agenda.”

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“Up and down the line, the government has to ensure the public that its priorities are met.”

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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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Nancy Binay, Nation, Senate

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