Binay, Hontiveros seek better protection for healthcare workers vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Senators Nancy Binay and Risa Hontiveros on Monday called for heightened protection plans for medical frontliners, saying that even those who have completed their COVID-19 shots are still prone to infections.
Binay urged the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to come up with a “comprehensive approach” with complete plans of infection prevention controls as well as a systematic collection of data on health worker infections.
“I believe we have to prepare for the possibility of our fully vaccinated healthcare workers acquiring Covid and its new variants, lalo na’t ang mga kaso ng (especially since cases of) infections are contracted in the workplace because of the high viral load,” Binay said in a statement.
Binay said vaccine firms have disclosed that third dose boosters increasing antibody response are currently being developed and while the booster shots are still pending, DOH should already set up a system to ensure that fully vaccinated HCWs who still acquire COVID-19 and need hospitalization get full support from government.
“Sa ngayon, let’s find practical ways to protect them because if the cases reach high numbers, bukod sa kukulangin tayo ng healthworkers dahil sa posibilidad na mahawaan sila, our healthcare support system may again be overburdened or possibly collapse,” Binay said.
(For now, let’s find practical ways to protect them because if the cases reach high numbers, besides losing numbers among health workers due to the possibility of them being infected, our healthcare support system may again be overburdened or possibly collapse.)
“We are now experiencing pandemic fatigue, and people have become less vigilant. Kawawa ang healthworkers natin pag ospital na mismo ang bumagsak. Not only workplace safety issues put health workers at risk–yung kawalan din ng suporta from government puts the patients, and the entire health system at risk,” Binay pointed out.
(We are now experiencing pandemic fatigue, and people have become less vigilant. Health workers will be affected if our hospitals collapse. Not only workplace safety issues put health workers at risk—the lack of support from the government also puts the patients and the entire health system at risk.)
Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros urged DOH to create “a more robust plan” to protect HCWs, especially those who were vaccinated with Sinovac.
“Magkusa na dapat ang DOH. Nasaan na ang plano para sa mga HCWs na naturukan ng Sinovac? Kahit hindi nila maranasan ang malalang epekto COVID, mapipilitan silang lumiban sa trabaho habang nagpapagaling. We cannot afford any more disruptions in our health care system during a pandemic,” Hontiveros said.
(DOH should take the initiative. Where is the plan for HCWs who were given the Sinovac vaccine? Even if they do not experience the severe effects of COVID, they will be forced to stay off work while they recover. We cannot afford any more disruptions in our health care system during a pandemic.)
Recently, more than 350 doctors and HCWs in Indonesia have been infected with COVID-19 with dozens hospitalized despite being fully vaccinated against the virus.
According to the Indonesian Medical Association, almost all of the recent recorded cases among HCWs in Indonesia show that they received the COVID–19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.
DOH reported that among the total of 6,948,594 doses of COVID-19 vaccine that have been administered nationwide as of June 13, 1,447,426 frontline health workers have received their first dose while 968,750 are fully vaccinated. Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee
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