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Cebu News

Central Visayas medical workers to help in NCR fight vs COVID-19

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman
Central Visayas medical workers to help in NCR fight vs COVID-19
They will augment health workers in hospitals and other medical facilities, which are now getting overwhelmed and running out of beds for coronavirus patients, in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

CEBU, Philippines — Over a hundred healthcare workers in the Visayas are set to be deployed to the National Capital Region (NCR) amid the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases there.

They will augment health workers in hospitals and other medical facilities, which are now getting overwhelmed and running out of beds for coronavirus patients, in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

This after Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health, asked Secretary Michael Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) for assistance.

“Magpapadala po ng nurses at iba pang medical personnel ang Visayas sa NCR upang tumulong sa mga ospital na nangangailangan ng karagdagang frontliners dahil sa mabilis na pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa lugar,” Go said.

Dino said yesterday that it will take four to five days to prepare the deployment, but they are already expediting the process in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and other concerned agencies.

Dino said the recipient hospitals will shoulder the accommodation, food and the transportation needs of the frontliners once they arrive in Metro Manila.

While OPAV or Department of Health-7 will shoulder the transfer of the healthcare workers from any point in Visayas to NCR.

He said DOH has assured that the healthcare workers will be given additional 20 percent premium of their basic salary for emergency hiring based on Bayanihan 2 funds.

Aside from additional human resource, the initiative also aims to deliver medical supply donations from the Visayas to Metro Manila. These include high flow nasal cannulas, drugs such as Tocilizumab and Remdesivir, and other COVID life-saving medicines, among others.

Dino added that the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City has promised to provide COVID life-saving medicines.

OPAV with the help of DOH-7 is also set to launch a convalescent plasma blood drive to address the growing needs in the NCR.

Moreover, the willingness, commitment and bayanihan (the term refers to the spirit of communal unity) efforts of healthcare workers from the Visayas were praised by Go.

Go said the country will be able to overcome the pandemic faster with “strong showing of bayanihan spirit among Filipinos.”

Aside from OPAV, DOH-7 and local government units in the Visayas, the senator also sought the assistance of Malasakit Center hospitals and the Project Balik Buhaymember (PBB)-private hospitals to implement the initiative.

PBB is a Cebu-based private sector-led organization which aims to help the public sector cope up with the challenges brought by COVID-19 through collaboration and cooperation with the business sectors and private hospitals.

The PBB is a strategic public-private partnership for strengthened COVID-19 response in sync with government efforts and private sector initiatives.

Members of PBB are owners of private hospitals and businesses in Cebu and the different chambers of commerce and industry.

Under the PBB, OPAV is in charge of deploying nurses who expressed willingness to augment frontliners in critical areas. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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