War against coronavirus looms; four doctors die in Philippines

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By MDN Digital News Team
March 25, 2020

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'Understaffed' frontliners bravely man defense lines amid deaths of four docs

 

METRO MANILA, Philippines (MDN National News) - "Habang nalalagasan lalong tumatapang," this is how one would probably describe the war heroes against the unseen enemy, so furious and clever that sometimes it could make their victims asymptomatic, to stay away from detection.

 

This war against covid-19 is also ongoing in the Philippines and four doctors have already lost their lives in defense of the country and the Filipino people.

Those doctors who last served the government as frontliners in the government's continued fight against the disease include Cardiologist Israel Bactol at the Philippine Heart Center; Oncologist Rose Pulido of San Juan de Dios Hospital, and Anesthesiologist Gregorio Macasaet III of the Manila Doctors Hospital.

The latest casualty in the government's frontliners was Dr.Raul Jara, Hospital Director of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC). He died of multiple complications of kidney and cardiac arrest, it was learned. His medical records showed he also became positive of the deadly coronavirus disease.

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IN QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, GOVERNMENT WORKERS MAKE THEMSELVES BUSY DISINFECTING THE STREETS AND  CLEANING THE AREAS FREQUENTTED BY PEOPLE, PURPOSELY TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS DISEASE.

But despite losing four doctors in the defense against the deadly attack of the virus, frontliners continue to man the war zones. Their only hope is for the government to realize and to act as soon as possible that they lack manpower and most especially they lack the very important equipment and protective gears.

“Reality is that we’re currently understaffed, not just RITM, but I think all over the Philippines. ‘yong mga doctors din natin, frontliners, and nurses, nagkakasakit na din"  says Doctor Therese Suñe of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in an interview with CNN Philippines.

The RITM, in which Suñe belongs, is one of the testing centers for the coronavirus disease in the country.

Suñe told the media despite the risk of being infected with the virus they are bravely manning the defense lines to protect the country from the deadly onslaught of coronavirus like what happened in China and Italy. 

“But right now, we’re doing our jobs naman po. Medyo nakakapagod na rin but we have to do our jobs on what we’re called to do. I hope the people should understand that aside from us, there are a lot of people risking their lives,” Suñe explained.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte in his recent adress thanked the hundreds of frontliners for their act of heroism, while he also said he was sad with the passing of four doctors manning the defense lines of the country to prevent further damage to people.

Duterte said the government has been doing its part how to effectively contain the virus and prevent it from spreading further in the countryside. The reason that the president has firmly decided to lockdown Metro Manila on what he termed as “enhanced community quarantine”, as the bulk of infections were there, including the deaths of people now 35 of them.

Duterte said the government’s economic team has now prepared a ₱27.1-billion spending plan as his plea to give him emergency powers were all voted "yes" by both Lower Houses.

Rep Rufus Rodriguez told reporters that with the government's budget in fighting for coronavirus, frontliners are given very much importance. 

Rodriguez said aside from benefits and other remunerations such as bonuses and hazard fees, frontliners who die while on active duty and doing their best to save the people from more harm, would be given 1 Million each death benefit."
 


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