He could not yet tell why more medical frontliners were getting infected in the Philippines, but said it might have to do with insufficient supply of personal protective equipment and the volume of patients they attend to.
This developed as the number of patients who recovered from COVID-19 continued to climb, reaching 654 with 41 new recoveries against the 437 death toll, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday.Records from the Department of Health as of April 21 showed 9 more patients succumbed to the highly-infectious virus, which has its epicentre in Wuhan City in China, in the central Chinese province of Hubei.
There were also 140 new confirmed cases, which now resulted to a total 6,599 cases.Lawmakers were saddened by the death of doctors who acquired the COVID-19 virus while healing other victims.But while the number of recoveries is rising, two members of the House of Representatives were grieving the death of two more doctors on the frontlines —one in Metro Manila and the other in Cavite—while paying tribute to all medical frontliners risking their lives in the battle against the pandemic.
Reps. Fidel Nograles of Rizal and Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City said: “We salute all our frontliners for their bravery and sacrifice. They are putting lives on the line to save the lives of others.”The lawmakers made the statement following the death of 30-year-old doctor Wilbur Jan Demafiles who died in line of duty on April 19 attending to COVID-19 patients.
He served on the frontlines of Manila Doctors Hospital and was also a volunteer doctor at LoveYourself Inc.Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, who has recovered from COVID-19, has donated his plasma to the Philippine General Hospital, in aid of the medical community’s continuing search for a coronavirus treatment.After being the first public official to disclose his positive diagnosis for the disease, Zubiri has returned to good health, making him eligible for the plasma donation.
No approved cure for the virus exists as of yet, but medical experts are looking at the possibility of extracting COVID-19 antibodies from recovered individuals to finally come up with a treatment.So far, patients who were administered the plasma treatment at the PGH and St. Luke’s Medical Center showed significant improvements in their conditions.“I was very lucky to have recovered with no complications,
” Zubiri said.“But that is not the case for many other patients, whose bodies are less prepared to fight this disease. If plasma donations can help them in any way, then I am more than happy to offer mine.”He added: “All of us healthier, perhaps younger people who have been blessed with full recovery from COVID-19 — we need to go donate. It’s a fairly simple process, and you’ll be able to help so many people.
”Nograles said the continued care provided by doctors to COVID victims despite the death of many of show the strength of their commitment to the health needs of the community showed their adherence to the Hipocratic Oath.Nograles, a first-term congressman and vice chairman of House justice committee, reiterated his call on law schools that have existing free legal aid programs to take the cudgels up for frontliners and COVID patients who are victims of discrimination.“Even as law schools, and schools in general are grappling with the learning challenges brought about by this pandemic, perhaps we can continue the operations of our legal clinic to cater to those in need, particularly our frontliners, along with [COVID-19] positive patients or those suspected of probable persons of the virulent disease,” Nograles said.
For his part, Barzaga expressed deep sadness over the death of a surgeon from Cavite who was among the medical frontliners who have died in the fight against the pandemic.Barzaga, president of the National Unity Party (NUP), said Dr. Ronaldo Mateo, 47, a graduate of the UST College of Medicine, succumbed to the deadly virus on April 5.“The province has lost a son to this pandemic,” Barzaga said.
“The City Government of Dasmariñas extends its sincere condolences to Dr. Mateo’s family members and friends,” he said.Barzaga said the Mateo was one of the pioneer physicians at the Pagamutan ng Dasmariñas who had served as head of its surgery department until the time of his death.“His courage in performing his duties as a medical frontliner in the face of the crisis triggered by the spread of the COVID-19 virus will never be forgotten,” he said.
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