Health workers of St. Jude Family Hospital in Los Baños, Laguna receive on March 25, 2020 donated personal protective equipment from different business sectors in the province.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos
Philippine College of Physicians calls for periodic COVID-19 testing of health workers
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - April 1, 2020 - 3:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — Healthcare workers must be tested periodically for the new coronavirus to reduce deaths related to COVID-19, the Philippine College of Physicians said Wednesday.

PCP, the umbrella organization of internists, issued the statement after the Department of Health revised its testing policy to include healthcare workers who exhibit even mild symptoms of COVID-19.

The organization said that while the DOH “rightfully” recommended a work schedule of healthcare workers broken down into two-week intervals of hospital work and quarantine, it is “missing out a crucial step.”

PCP stressed that the exposure level of healthcare workers to the virus cannot be accounted at the end of their two-week hospital rotation.

“Periodic testing can reassure the HCWs and response teams that they are not a source of infection to their families and patients when they report back for work and resume their duties,” PCP said, noting that testing should be integrated either before or after the quarantine period of hospital staff.

“Setting up quarantine spaces for HCWs will not necessarily guarantee that they will not be exposed or expose others for the duration of their stay, further underscoring the need for periodic testing,” it added.

The organization also said that periodic testing will improve the morale of healthcare workers and provide them confidence to complete their jobs with minimal distractions.

Hospital workers have been falling sick because of the overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients and persons suspected to have infections that flock healthcare facilities across the country.

The shortage of protective gear also makes frontliners more susceptible to the virus while treating patients.

DOH on Tuesday reported 538 new COVID-19 cases, its biggest one-day leap since the outbreak began, bringing the national total to 2,084.

The country has so far conducted 15,337 tests, including retests and validation. Figures from the DOH also showed that 3,938 persons have been tested since late January. — with report from News5

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with