By Dr. Gina Nazareth
“A patient needs to be intubated but we don’t have protective equipment. Both the patients and doctors’ lives are on the line. Full protection is needed, and it is difficult for us to just watch this happening before us when we know we can do something about it.”
This was the appeal of Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) President Dr. Gina Nazareth as their members and other health workers in the frontline desperately look for solutions to prevent more deaths and stem the continuing COVID-19.
Nazareth called for an immediate collaboration between large businesses and air transport carriers in quickly procuring personal protective equipment (PPEs) to benefit our country’s frontline health workers.
Numerous hospitals in the country reported significant shortages in the available PPEs such as N95 and surgical masks, gloves, face shields, as well as disinfectants such as alcohol and hand sanitizer.
“We urge our large businesses in the country to help us in this time of serious health crisis by providing resources for the procurement of PPEs for the protection of our frontline health workers. The current shortage in protective equipment leaves our frontline workers significantly more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Not only will this lead to a faster and wider transmission of the virus, but this will also deplete our frontline health workers who have been tirelessly attending to our countrymen in need of urgent health treatment,” stated Nazareth.
PCP emphasized that an adequate supply of PPEs is paramount in strengthening the health workforce in the country at a time where their services are greatly needed, as the country continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, an unnamed former senior health official suggested that the government liberalize the importation of equipment related to COVID-19.
“We hope that the government considers this policy, because this will substantially speed up the process of equipping our health workers with the necessary protection from COVID-19, and prevent an uncontrollable transmission of the virus,” he explained.
As of this writing, the Department of Health has confirmed a total of 202 cases of COVID-19 in the country. From the confirmed cases, 17 have passed away, while seven have made a full recovery.