PNP doctor also near breaking point
The situation is the same for PNP doctors who have to cope with the surge of COVID-19 patients since June, especially in Metro Manila where the government eased quarantine restrictions to revive the economy.
STAR/File
PNP doctor also near breaking point
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - August 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Before coronavirus disease hit the country early this year, nurses from the Philippine National Police (PNP) would normally have an average of two to three patients each to take care of in every shift.

However, the situation has worsened as the ratio ballooned to one nurse for every 25 patients each day of the pandemic.

The situation is the same for PNP doctors who have to cope with the surge of COVID-19 patients since June, especially in Metro Manila where the government eased quarantine restrictions to revive the economy.

Medical frontliners of the PNP are now nearing their breaking point, already exhausted, similar to their counterparts from public and private hospitals.

This was the assessment of some PNP doctors taking care of police personnel infected with COVID-19 who spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authority to speak about the dire situation they are facing every day.

With just about 70 doctors on board at PNP manned-hospitals in the country, a PNP physician said attending to the needs of all police personnel infected with COVID-19 is getting difficult.

“We are doing our best but we are already exhausted. We  don’t know what will happen if some of us will get sick,” a police doctor said in an interview.

The source said the PNP General Hospital at Camp Crame only has 22 doctors, which is not enough, especially if some of them would be infected with COVID-19.

As police officers are also among the frontliners in government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, they are always at risk of contracting the disease.

A total of 2,191 PNP personnel contracted COVID-19 with 11 fatalities. Meanwhile, 846 or 39.38 percent of the patients have recovered while the rest are still undergoing treatment. Also, 3,082 other police officers are under monitoring after they showed symptoms of the virus or interacted with COVID-19 patients.

Another police doctor has joined calls by colleagues in the medical community seeking a return of the strictest enhanced community quarantine for Metro Manila for two weeks, to give exhausted health workers a “timeout” and allow the country’s healthcare capacity to recuperate.

“The ECQ will help ease and slow down the spread of the virus,” the source said in a separate interview.

If their request is granted, the source urged government officials to take advantage of the period to track people with COVID-19 and isolate them from the rest of the community.

Otherwise, the problem will just return where hospitals and quarantine facilities are flooded with COVID-19 cases.

The source said COVID-19 patients with symptoms have to wait for at least three days before they are admitted to the three quarantine facilities at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

And even this setup is not normal, as those with symptoms should be confined in hospital and not merely in isolation facilities.

The source said quarantine facilities do not have ventilators and other equipment for patients in need of critical care.

DOCTOR PNP
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