The government will allocate over P2 billion for the procurement of protective gear for health workers and an additional P10 million for supplies of face masks in the country, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.
During a Senate hearing on the government's preparedness for the possible spread of 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease in the Philippines, Duque said President Rodrigo Duterte approved the said budget "in principle," with the projection that there will be 5,000 medical staff across the country who would use the personal protective equipment (PPE).
"This is going to be on the assumption that these will last for 90 days or three months and multiplied by three shifts because the care has to be around the clock and the total amount would be P2.25 billion, plus of course P10 million worth of surgical masks," he said.
Duque said that each set of PPE—including headgears, goggles, N95 masks, gloves, apron, and gowns—costs around P1,500.
The Philippines has two confirmed cases of novel coronavirus—one of whom died over the weekend and became the first fatality outside China.
Eighty suspected cases has been recorded by the DOH, so far. Thirty of whom already tested negative for the virus. — RSJ, GMA News