Philippines Report

DOH, AFP sending doctors to Cebu

Philippines Report June 29, 2020 News 1 Comment on DOH, AFP sending doctors to Cebu

A desperate cry for help from overburdened medical front-liners battling a surge in new coronavirus cases in Cebu City has been answered — partly.

The Department of Health (DOH) is sending doctors from rural areas in Western Visayas to the capital city of Cebu province to augment its COVID-19 response efforts. But some of the doctors do not appear to be enthusiastic about the new assignment, claiming, among other reasons, that they had not been properly informed.

Forty doctors under the DOH’s Doctor to the Barrios program (DTTB) and Post-Residency Deployment Program (PRDP) will be pulled out from their assignments and sent to Cebu City, said Marlyn Convocar, DOH director for Western Visayas, in a letter of compliance to Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama Jr.

The doctors—29 under the DTTB and 11 under the PRDP—will be fielded in four batches from June 30 to Sept. 15, inclusive of the 14-day quarantine periods.

Military team

“The doctors will not be permanently deployed in Cebu City but will only provide relief,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is also extending help, sending on Sunday 32 health workers to Cebu City.

A medical team of nine doctors, 10 nurses and 13 medical aides who would make up “Task Group Central” was flown to the city on a C130 aircraft.

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield earlier drew flak for deploying 150 members of the police Special Action Force (SAF) to the Queen City of the South, which desperately needed health workers instead of policemen.

The SAF contingent brought to about a thousand the number of police personnel sent to the city to help enforce the enhanced community quarantine, which President Duterte reimposed on Cebu City due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

In a bulletin on June 27, the DOH recorded 5,598 cases in Cebu City, of which 3,116 were “active,” 2,326 were recoveries, and 156 were deaths.

At least 1,539 people were admitted to different hospitals that were filled beyond capacity, while 1,577 were in quarantine centers.

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