4 more Fabella hospital staff test positive for coronavirus: PH Red Cross

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2020 10:23 AM | Updated as of Oct 25 2020 11:07 AM

People wait near the entrance of the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila on October 23, 2020. Hospital officials announced that the hospital will stop accepting new patients indefinitely to give way to disinfection activities following reports of frontline workers testing positive for COVID-19. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Four more personnel of the biggest maternity hospital in the country have contracted COVID-19, the Philippine Red Cross said Sunday after it conducted free coronavirus tests for the hospital's frontliners.

Seven doctors of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila earlier tested positive for the coronavirus, according to its medical center chief Dr. Esmeraldo Ilem and Red Cross chairman Sen. Richard Gordon.

"Nakadiskubre pa tayo ng apat na may sakit. At 'di natin pwedeng pigilin 'yan, di ho natin matitiis 'yan. Kahit papaano, pipigain natin para makapag-test tayo sapagkat 'pag di tayo nag-test, lalong marami ang mapapahamak," Gordon said.

(We discovered four more with coronavirus disease. And we can't resist testing because if we don't, more will be put in danger.)

Most of the personnel are asymptomatic and under isolation, Ilem said.

"Natutuwa po ang personnel namin dahil at least, nalaman po nila ang kanilang status. 'Di na po sila nangangamba... Lumuwag po ang kalooban nila, di na po sila takot," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

The hospital is currently disinfecting its facilities but will accommodate imminent child deliveries, Ilem said. Some 600 mothers are admitted at the hospital, he added.

"Lahat po ng exposed, ipate-test po muna namin bago ma-discharge," he said.

(All who were exposed will undergo testing before they are discharged.)

Gordon said the Red Cross' coronavirus testing of the hospital's frontliners were free of charge as he again expressed frustration over PhilHealth's inability to pay its debt to the non-government organization over Filipino migrant workers' COVID-19 testing.

"Ba't nila nababayaran yung mga hotel, pero yung tests di nila mabayaran. Samantalang pag binayaran nila ang mga tests, di na tayo kailangan mag-hotel, di nasusuya ang mga tao na umabot ng 6, 7 araw ang testing nila," he said.

(How can they pay for hotels but not for coronavirus tests? If you have immediate tests, you will no longer need hotels where people await their results?)

The PRC halted its COVID-19 testing activities covered by an agreement with PhilHealth because of the latter's nonpayment for testing services worth P930 million.

On Friday, the state health insurer said it would pay its debt to the PRC on Monday after the Department of Justice said that the PhilHealth-PRC Memorandum of Agreement is not subject to the government's Procurement Law.

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