Gov't looking to hire nearly 3,000 more health workers for COVID-19 fight

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2020 11:33 AM

Health workers extract blood samples from motorists at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument along Taft Avenue in Manila City on Aug. 3, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA-- The government needs to hire 2,855 more health workers to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday as the Philippines continues to see a surge in virus infections.

Of the 9,365 needed health workers, Nograles said the government has already filled up 6,510 positions or equivalent to 69.51 percent.

"Tayo po sa pamahalaan ay actively nagre-recruit pa po ng health workers," Nograles said in an online forum.

(We in the government are still actively recruiting health workers.)

Health workers have been making headlines in recent weeks as they appealed for the government's help due to overwork and safety concerns caused by the continued increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

As of Aug. 2, the health department said there were 5,096 confirmed COVID-19 cases among health workers, of which 405 were active cases.

On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte heeded the call of health workers to revert Metro Manila to a stricter community quarantine as virus frontliners requested for a "time out."

The modified enhanced community quarantine, which started on Tuesday, also covers Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal and is set to last until Aug. 18.

Nograles said the reversion showed that President Duterte is a listening leader.

"Hindi naman po caved in, nakinig si Pangulo sa side ng ating mga health workers dahil si Pangulo naman ay President na nakikinig sa lahat ng angles at multi-sectoral ang approach natin," he said.

(The President did not cave in. He listened to the side of our health workers because he is a listening president who considers all angles. We also have a multi-sectoral approach.)

The Philippines on Tuesday reported a record-high of 6,352 additional COVID-19 cases in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed coronavirus infections to 112,593. 

Of the said cases, 44,429 are considered active or patients who are still infected with COVID-19 and are staying either in the hospital or under home quarantine.

The total number of recovered patients is now 66,049, while the death toll is 2,115.