At least nine doctors have died due to the coronavirus disease or COVID-19, a top Philippine medical group said Thursday.
Doctor Dennis de Guzman, former Assistant Secretary General of Philippine Medical Association (PMA), disclosed the names of the "fallen" doctors during an interview in Dobol B sa News TV. Some of them were:
- Dr. Raul Jara, cardiologist, Philippine Heart Center
- Dr. Marcelo Jauchico of Pampanga Provincial Health Officer
- Dr. Sally Gatchalian, President of the Philippine Pediatric Society
JUST IN: Bilang ng mga doktor na nasawi sa gitna ng pakikipaglaban sa COVID-19, umakyat na sa 9, ayon kay Dr. Dennis de Guzman, Philippine Medical Association former assistant secretary general. pic.twitter.com/zMXHjT1CCC— DZBB Super Radyo (@dzbb) March 26, 2020
“Nalulungkot ang komunidad ng mga doktor sa sunod sunod na pagpanaw ang aming mga kasamahan na frontliner rito sa pagresponde sa COVID-19,” de Guzman said.
“Sana matulungan kami, kasi almost every day…marami na ring doctor ang nasa ICU (intensive care unit), naka-hook sa respirator or ventilator,” he added.
“Talagang masakit sa aming kalooban na na mawala sila pero ‘yan ay nasa kanilang tungkulin dahil ‘yan ang inatas sa amin bilang doctor.”
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said the Department of Health is investigating reports that a doctor died after a patient lied about medical condition and history of travel or exposure to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, De Guzman stressed that the way to help the front-liners in the battle against COVID-19 is to supply medical personnel with enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which has been scarce for weeks now.
“We are hoping na hindi na madagdagan ang mga nawala pero baka madagdagan pa kasi kulang na kulang po ang PPE sa bawat ospital. Exposed po kami,” de Guzman said.
He cited that health workers are in dire need of N95 masks, hazmat suits, goggles, face masks and even surgical masks in operating rooms which supply have also been scarce.
“Kailangan po talaga ng mga PPE kasi iyang mga hazmat suits, hindi dapat nilalabas iyan eh. Hindi po puwede iyong tinatahi tahi kasi pagkatapos gamitin, dapat tapon na agad iyan, kasi contaminated na po iyan eh,” he added.
As of the afternoon of March 25, the Philippines has already recorded 636 COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 38 have already died.
President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, banning mass transport and imposing curfews to reduce foot traffic.
The lockdown has already been in effect for nine days and is expected to xbe lifted on April 13. —Llanesca T. Panti and Joviland Rita/LBG/KBK, GMA News