Palace on hospitals not regularly testing workers for COVID-19: Report it to DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021   •   272

MANILA, Philippines – Health facilities that are not regularly subjecting their workers to COVID-19 tests should be reported to the Department of Health (DOH) for investigation, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that subjecting health workers to regular COVID-19 testing is provided under the DOH guidelines.

“So kung mayroon pong paglabag diyan, ipagbigay alam lang po sa DOH,” Roque said in an online briefing. “Paiimbestigahan natin kung sinong mga health facilities ang hindi nagbibigay ng mandated na regular testing forhealth workers.”

The DOH earlier assured that medical facilities will have their workers undergo mandatory testing after some healthcare personnel disputed DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III’s remark that medical frontliners are being tested for COVID-19 every two weeks.

PGH may use presidential social fund to pay for repairs after fire — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH) may tap the presidential social fund to pay for repairs of damage from a recent fire, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the PGH may access the fund to rehabilitate its facilities that were damaged during the fire that hit early Sunday morning.

“Doc Legaspi, kung anong kailangan ninyo sabihin ninyo lang,” Roque said, addressing PGH director Gerardo Legaspi, in an online press briefing.

The Palace official also emphasized President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to help the facility as he recalled the president’s offer of P100 million a month to aid the facility’s operations.

“Dati na siyang nag-offer ng malaking halaga, kung ano po ang kinakailangan ngayon para ma-repair ang mga damage, pwede pong i-tap yung presidential social fund dahil yan po ay dati na pong ini-offer sa PGH,” Roque said.

Roque noted that the PGH only uses P25 million per month from the presidential social fund for the treatment of their patients.

The PGH is one of the country’s main COVID-19 referral hospitals.

Legaspi, meanwhile, assured that the hospital’s COVID-19 response operations will not be hampered after the fire.

He only appealed to resume operations after a day since they are still working on the transfer of patients and clearing up of areas affected by the fire.

“We stand committed with our role as COVID referral center po but as I said just for today, hinihintay lang pong mabakante ang mga lugar, at safe sila mailagay kasi huling check namin may amoy pa ho ng smoke,” Legaspi said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for its part, assured that it will handle repair works on the hospital.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said they have already inspected the facility to see the extent of damages.

“Syempre tutulong po kami sa repair ng na-damage na portion… Ask the engineering na arm of the government, syempre pag may mga pangangailangan ang ating government infrastructures kami po yung tutulong,” Villar said.

The cause of the fire that hit the PGH is still under investigation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Umano’y nasayang na supply ng COVID-19 vaccine sa Cotabato, iniimbestigahan na — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Iniimbestigahan na ng Department of Health (DOH) ang napaulat na pagkasayang umano ng supply ng COVID-19 vaccine na ipinadala sa bayan ng Makilala sa Cotabato.

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, nasa 348 doses ng Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines ang umano’y nasayang matapos mapabayaan sa loob ng freezer nang magkaroon ng power outage sa lugar.

Paalala naman ng kagawaran sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na bantayang maigi ang kanilang COVID-19 vaccine supply upang matiyak ang wastong temperature sa pag-iimbak nito.

“Hindi lang po isang beses isang araw ang ginagawang pagmo-monitor ng temperatura ng bakuna. Ito po ay ginagawa kada apat na oras,” ani Vergeire.

Nakipag-ugnayan na aniya sila sa lokal na pamahalaan kaugnay ng insidente.

“As to the sanctions, they were already advised and the local government has been coordinated with by our regional Office,” ang wika ni Vergeire. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

DOH working closely with BFP, other agencies to monitor hospitals after PGH fire

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is closely coordinating with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and other concerned government agencies to prevent further fire incidents in hospitals amid the dry season and the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have reached out to the BFP, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and local government units (LGU) to place hospitals under close monitoring.

“Tayo po ay nakipag-coordinate sa iba’t ibang ahensya concerned katulad po ng DILG and local governments and also to coordinated with the Bureau of Fire Protection para magkaroon po ng monitoring across al[l our hospitals because we know that fire incidents are highest during the summer season,” she said.

Vergeire issued the statement after a fire hit part of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on Sunday.

The fire has directly affected a portion of one floor of PGH.

Vergeire said at least 12 patients were referred for transfer to other DOH hospitals. As of Monday, eight patients had already been transferred while the remaining four were being processed.

The DOH has also distributed K95 and N95 masks to the PGH since all of its personnel were required to wear this for 48 hours as smoke from the fire could still linger in the area.

“We were able to provide K95 and N95 masks to the PGH para kanilang magamit sa kanilang personnel because they were required to wear N95 masks for 48 hours kahit wala po sila doon as COVID areas because of the lingering o naka-suspend pa siyempre yung mga smoke diyan galing sa pagkakasunog,” she said.

“Ngayon po ating pinagtitibay (monitoring) para ma-prevent na po natin yung mga further incidents like this in the future,” Vergeire said.

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