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COVID-19 WATCH

COVID frontliners falling like dominoes

Sixty-severn additional local health care workers tested positive for the coronavirus disease, raising the total number to 1,619.

MJ Blancaflor

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IN the Philippines and elsewhere around the world, health workers are getting infected with the coronavirus despite precautions like the wearing of personal protective equipment. Photo by Agence France-Presse

The Department of Health (DoH) on Thursday reported that 67 additional local health care workers tested positive for the coronavirus disease, raising the total number  to 1,619.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the announcement in a press briefing, adding that 33 medical personnel succumbed to the highly-contagious disease while 250 of them recovered.

Vergeire said the 1,619 COVID-positive health care workers are composed of 557 doctors, 604 nurses, 99 nursing assistants, 63 medical technologists, 31 radiologic technologists, 17 respiratory therapists, 18 midwives, and 13 pharmacists.

She assured medical frontliners that the DoH is ramping up its efforts to protect them from the coronavirus disease.

“The DoH will not stop to protect health care workers so that next time, we will not hear of any frontliner who tested positive for COVID,” Vergeire said.

The World Health Organization has earlier raised concerns over the increasing number of medical personnel in the Philippines who have been infected with COVID-19, attributing it to shortage and improper use of protective suits.

The country has so far conducted 92,822 unique individual tests in 19 laboratories nationwide that were accredited to conduct coronavirus tests.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has 8,488 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The death toll stands at 568 while 1,043 individuals have recovered.

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