Government mobilizes AFP, PNP, BJMP and PCG as more health workers fall ill from COVID-19 – Manila Bulletin

Amid the deluge of healthcare workers infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the national government has begun deploying security sector personnel to boost staffing in hospitals.

(File photo)

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and head of the National Task Force (NTF) implementation against COVID-19, assured that the government is “taking the necessary measures” to deal with the growing number of workers of health who fall ill.

Part of their strategy is to field personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Prisons Management and Penology (BJMP) and National Guard. Coastal Philippines (PCG) – especially those with medical training – to maintain the operations of the various health facilities amid the surge of cases.

“We are mobilizing the armed forces, the PNP, the BJMP and our coast guard to reinforce the hospitals which are short of health personnel,” Galvez said.

The AFP, PNP, BJMP and PCG have their own pool of medical professionals who could add to staff at hospitals that are understaffed, he said.

However, the number of personnel currently deployed to various medical facilities around the country for this mission is unclear.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), about 6,600 health workers in Metro Manila, or 7.2% of the region’s staff, were under quarantine as of Thursday.

“It’s really a big challenge because even our health workers are getting sick,” admitted Galvez.

However, he noted that there was no reason yet to push the alarm button as the government was continuously looking for ways to address the shortage of manpower in hospitals and other medical facilities.

“Don’t Panic. The IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force], mayors and hospital directors are doing everything they can to ensure the continuity of our health care,” Galvez said.


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