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Binay: Protect healthcare workers at any cost

June 21, 2021 Marlon Purification 659 views

SENATOR Nancy Binay on Monday urged the Department of Health (DOH) and the IATF to come up with a comprehensive approach that will involve the full hierarchy of infection prevention controls as well as systematic collection of data on healthcare worker infections.

“There is a need for us to plan ahead and protect healthcare workers at any cost in case they are exposed to new infections,” Binay said.

Binay made the call amid news that more than 350 doctors and medical workers in Indonesia acquired the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, with dozens hospitalized, despite being inoculated.

“I believe we have to prepare for the possibility of our fully vaccinated healthcare workers acquiring Covid and its new variants, lalo na’t ang mga kaso ng infections are contracted in the workplace because of the high viral load. Sa ngayon, let’s find practical ways to protect them because if the cases reach high numbers, bukod sa kukulangin tayo ng healthworkers dahil sa posibilidad na mahawaan sila, our healthcare support system may again be overburdened or possibly collapse,” Binay said.

The senator added that while the booster shots are still pending, DOH should already set up a system to ensure that fully-vaccinated HCWs who still acquire COVID-19 and need hospitalization get full support from the government.

Vaccine firms disclosed that third dose boosters that would increase antibody response are currently being developed.

“We would want the DOH to give a full commitment and specific action to better protect our essential workforce. ‘Wag naman sana, pero kailangang nakalatag na kung paano ang gagawin in case na magkaroon ng scenario na tulad sa Indonesia,” Binay noted.

The World Health Organization maintained that health workers are essential in the fight against COVID, but are at disproportionate risk of contracting infections as well as experiencing adverse mental health impacts.

“We are now experiencing pandemic fatigue, and people have become less vigilant. Kawawa ang healthworkers natin ‘pag ospital na mismo ang bumagsak. Not only workplace safety issues put healthcare workers at risk–yung kawalan din ng suporta from government puts the patients, and the entire health system also at risk,” Binay pointed out.