MANILA, Philippines – Health workers in Manila’s six district hospitals who contracted the latest coronavirus strain while on duty, and who eventually died would receive an additional P1 million grant from the city government.
According to the newest city ordinance crafted by the city council and signed by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, the deceased health workers’ children, if applicable, would also enjoy scholarships in the city’s schools and universities.
This is also different from the financial aid that would be given by the national government to health workers who died due to COVID-19, which was mandated by Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
“Any health workers in city-owned hospitals and health centers who succumbed to the [COVID-19] in the line of duty or while performing his/her duty to combat the spread of the disease in the City of Manila shall be entitled an endowment benefit amounting to one million pesos,” the City Ordinance No. 8639 reads.
“In addition to the endowment mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, the surviving children, if any, of the health worker shall be given a scholarship in the City’s schools and/or university,” the ordinance added.
The Philippines currently has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections among health workers. The Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday that there are now 1,619 health workers who are also COVID-19 patients — a staggering 19.07 percent of the total number of cases which stands at 8,488.
Of this number, 33 have died while 250 have recovered. At least 557 of the infected health workers are doctors, 604 are nurses, 99 are nursing assistants, 63 medical technologists, 31 radiologic technologists, 18 midwives, 17 respiratory therapists, and 13 pharmacists.
READ: COVID-19 cases among PH health workers now at 1,619; death toll at 33
The World Health Organization previously expressed concern over this issue, as it appears that one in every five coronavirus infections in the country involves a health worker.
It is starkly high compared to the 2 to 3 percent infection rates among health workers in Western Pacific countries — which includes China, the origin of the latest coronavirus strain.
READ: High number of virus-hit health workers makes PH ‘an outlier’
While it was not specified how many of the 1,619 health workers are stationed in Manila, the city has one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila. As of Wednesday, the city has registered 669 confirmed cases of which 518 are active, 975 suspected cases, and one probable patient.
The Department of Health said on Thursday that there are now 8,488 patients infected with the coronavirus around the country, of which 568 have died and 1,043 have recovered.
Worldwide, over 3.19 million individuals have been infected, while at least 227,648 have died from the disease and over 972,715 have recovered from it.
READ: BREAKING: COVID-19 cases in PH soar to 8,488; total recoveries up to 1,043
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