Seven more Orthopedic workers test positive for COVID-19, bringing total to 117
MANILA, Philippines — A day after it was reported that 110 of its staff tested positive for COVID-19, seven more employees of the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) in Quezon City have also contracted the disease, bringing the total cases to 117, according to the hospital’s officer in charge (OIC) on Saturday.
In a statement, POC officer-in-charge Dr. John Andrew Michael Bengzon said that because of the rising COVID-19 cases among the hospital staff, the POC management has decided on the temporary closure of the outpatient department.
Despite the closure of the outpatient department, Bengzon added that online consultations will be offered in place of outpatient face-to-face consultations.
Aside from this, the POC management has also decided to put on hold elective surgeries, and the adjustment of working hours for all of its staff.
The POC OIC also announced that the second dose of its rollout for the Sinovac vaccine will be from April 5 to 12, and that continuous mandatory swabbing for the hospital’s staff will be on April 7.
“At present, there are still 216 inpatients and 12 COVID patients. All of them are continuing to be cared for,” Bengzon said.
“The emergency room is open 24/7. We will continue to treat orthopedic emergency patients,” he added.
The hospital has also appealed to the public to seek aid for personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly face masks, saying that there is a need for hospital staff to double mask.
It was on Friday when Sean Herbert Velchez, National Orthopedic Workers Union head, revealed that 110 out of 180 staff of POC have contracted COVID-19.
Asked for comment on the matter, the Department of Health (DOH) said that hospital operations will continue.
“Tuluy-tuloy ang serbisyo ng POC. Open to receive emergency [orthopedic] cases while their outpatient services can be accessed through their Facebook page (teleconsults),” the DOH said in a Viber message to reporters.
(The POC’s service will continue. It’s open to receiving orthopedic cases while their outpatient services can be accessed through their Facebook page.)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.