Infected Filipino frontline healthcare workers soar past 7,000-mark - GulfToday

Infected Filipino frontline healthcare workers soar past 7,000-mark


A total of 2,401 nurses tested positive for COVID-19, followed by doctors, 1,433, said DoH.

Manolo B. Jara, Correspondent

The number of infected Filipino frontline healthcare workers led by nurses and doctors in the campaign against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has soared past the 7,000-mark, based on official data from the Department of Health (DoH).

Of the total of 7,006 confirmed cases, the DoH reported that 40 died with 6,448 recoveries and active patients, or those still infected at 578.

The 40th fatality was a nursing assistant who died on Aug.26 but the DOH said it was still verifying raw data of 22 more deaths, thus bringing to 52 the total number of fatalities in the drive to prevent the rapid spread of the virus.

A total of 2,401 nurses tested positive for COVID-19, followed by doctors, 1,433; nursing assistants, 304; medical technologists, 144; midwives, 188; radiologic technologists, 68; pharmacists, 68; and respiratory therapists, 57, according to the DOH.

It added that families of at least 31 fatalities were already compensated with a maximum of $20,000 each as mandated by a special law passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in the war on COVID-19.

Also on Monday, government officials led by President Duterte as well as religious leaders paid tribute to the country's medical frontliners as "modern day heroes" during the celebration of National Heroes Day.

Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 rose to 224,264 nationwide, with the addition of 3,483 patients, recoveries of 158,012 and a death toll of 3,597, the DOH reported as of Sept.

This developed as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the Philippines has been extended loans and grants totalling $10.94 billion as of August to finance the fight against the pandemic.

In addition, Karl Kendrick Chua, the acting socioeconomic planning secretary, said that so far the country had already obtained half of the $21.6 billion in additional official development assistance (ODA) it received in 2019.

NEDA said 16 loans and three grants were recent additions to the expanding ODA portfolio "in support of government efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to mitigate the economic impact."

But despite the huge borrowings and grants, Congressman Joey Salceda of Albay province in the Bicol Region, the chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, assured the Philippines remained in a fiscally sound position.

Salceda said it was a good sign that the government was spending more in the low interest environment as he noted: "ODA loans tend to have very long maturity periods and very low interest rates.

"Given the low interest global environment, we should be find even if we accumulate a deficit of more than 10 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) this year."

He said he would be more concerned if the government was spending too little because this would mean missed opportunities to make significant public investments despite low interest rates worldwide.

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