COVID-19 hits 16 healthcare workers in Motiong, Samar; DOH assistance sought
MANILA, Philippines — The municipal health office of Motiong, Samar is appealing for assistance after 16 of its healthcare workers recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Katerina Abiertas, Motiong municipal health officer, on Monday said that there are only eight healthcare workers available since most are undergoing quarantine.
“Umaabot na kami sa 16 lahat so medyo napipilay po talaga ang aming opisina sa pagrespond sa crisis sa Motiong,” she told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(There are now 16 total COVID-19 positive healthcare workers so our office is really crippled in responding to the health crisis in Motiong.)
Abiertas said that of the 16 infected workers, six, including her, are permanent employees of the local government unit while the rest were sent by the Department of Health or were hired by the LGU to augment the COVID-19 response in the town.
She said most of them have been fully vaccinated so they are only experiencing mild symptoms of the disease.
According to Abiertas, a doctor and some nurses from a nearby town will help out in Motiong.
She, however, noted that the other doctor will only be available for one to two days since he is also the only doctor in his own town.
Abiertas appealed to the DOH Central Office to send more healthcare workers to Motiong.
“Lahat ng nasa position sa amin ginagawa naman talaga nila ang mga trabaho nila. ‘Yun nga lang at this point, we need sana ng augmentation na galing sa national kasi kaunti lang talaga kaming healthcare workers dito at nagkakasakit na kami,” she said.
(All of those in position in the region are doing their jobs, but at this point we need augmentation from the national government because we lack healthcare workers now and we are already getting sick.)
Abiertas stressed that healthcare workers also need to be cared for when they get sick.
“Hindi lang po ito (It’s not just) about Motiong. It’s not just about us. It’s all about the healthcare workers around the country or in the entire world. Kasi pagod na po ang mga healthcare workers (Healthcare workers area already tired).
“Kahit pagod na kami, at kahit minsan nagtatampo na ang pamilya namin, pero uunahin at uunahin po namin ang trabaho namin dahil sinumpaan po namin ‘yun na tungkulin.
(But even if we are already tired and our families feel bad about us, we will still prioritize our work because this is our sworn duty.)
“Pero kailangan din po namin ng pag-aalaga, na kung sakaling kami naman ang nangangailan ng tulong, meron sana kaming isolation facility na pupuntahan, merong care kit na ibibigay sa amin at meron din sanang support sa family namin para ‘yung kakainin nila for the next 14 days hindi po namin poproblemahin,” she said.
(But we also need care. If we get sick, we also need help, we hope we have an isolation facility, care kits, and support for our families so that we won’t worry about what they will eat in the next 14 days.)
Meanwhile, Abiertas also said that the release of hazard pay for healthcare workers remains a challenge.
“Karamihan, ‘yan pa rin talaga ang major challenge namin. Kung ang pinag-uusapan natin ay ‘yung hazard pay na nakalagay sa magna carta for public health workers, matagal na ‘yang pinaglalaban ng healthcare workers ngunit hindi 100 percent ang implementation,” she said.
(Hazard pay is still a major challenge to many. Healthcare workers have long been fighting for the hazard pay under the magna carta for public health workers but that is not being implemented 100 percent.)
She added that special risk allowances from the government during the pandemic are being provided but added that there are slight delays.
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