UK, Germany requesting more health workers from the Philippines
Marje Pelayo • February 23, 2021 • 405
MANILA, Philippines – The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has increased the demand for health workers all over the world.
In the Philippines, the national government put in place a deployment cap of 5,000 health workers for 2021 to make sure that the country will have a sufficient number in case the COVID-19 infection worsens.
But the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany appealed to the Philippines to deploy more health workers given that the country is one of the top exporters of this field and expertise.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), there is an ongoing negotiation on this request.
The Philippine government, however, has several conditions before approving the matter.
One is that the requesting countries, in return, should give the Philippines COVID-19 vaccines.
“Ang nire-request ni Secretary Bello ay para sa ating mga OFWs. So ito ang mga OFWs na na-repatriate na dito including yung mga OFWs din na papaalis,” explained DOLE Director for International Labor Affairs Alice Visperas.
The official said there are around 600,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were repatriated and some of them were redeployed.
“Karamihan sa mga bansa ngayon na kumukuha ng workers. Gusto nila may vaccine na yung kukunin nilang workers. Darating din ang panahon baka hindi na sila kukuha pag hindi pa nabibigyan ng vaccine,” Visperas noted.
Another condition is the renegotiation for Labor agreement in favor of OFWs in the said countries.
DOLE said the matter is now on the ministerial level and is, so far, receiving a possible response.
But the Filipino Nurses United seemed offended with the way the government is treating the country’s nurses.
“Sa FNU na turn off kmi, disgusted na parang commodities o export products trato sa amin ng gobyerno,” the group said in a statement.
“Two separate issues iyon. Kung gustong mag-abroad ng nurses karapatan nila iyon. Huwag gamiting trade off. Kung kailangan natin ng bakuna, mag procure,” it added.
The Philippine Nurses Association, on the other hand, supports the government on the matter but as for the number, there should be a careful study first as to how many nurses will be allowed to leave.
“Kung manggagaling yan sa government and merong benefit ang Pilipinas with that I think we should welcome yung idea,” noted PNA President Melbert Reyes.
“But it should make sure sana na may maiiwan dito sa Pilipinas to take care of our people,” he concluded. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines—More frontliners in the city of Manila have pre-registered for the city’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said that the number of registrants increased from the initial 200 to 1,900 on Monday when the government launched its vaccination drive.
This is almost half of the total number of medical frontliners in six government hospitals in the city.
“Maraming na-inspire na mga doctor at nurses. So, umakyat ng 1,900 ang aming nagparehistro. So, kaya ang payo ko, don’t miss the opportunity. Ang pinakamabisang bakuna ay ang bakunang nasa braso mo (A lot of doctors and nurses were inspired so 1,900 registered. My advice is to not miss the opportunity. The most effective vaccine is the vaccine injected in your arm),“ he said.
Domagoso assured vaccine registrants they can still choose the brand of vaccine they want to receive.
An initial 3,000 Sinovac vaccine vials have been delivered to Manila City which will be administered to 1,500 individuals. The city government aims to vaccinate one of the two doses within the week.
Meanwhile, Domagoso said he is waiting for a proper clearance before getting vaccinated as policy states that medical frontliners are the priority for the COVID-19 vaccines. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has recorded six new cases of the B.1.351 variant (South Africa variant) of COVID-19; 30 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 variant (UK variant) and 2 cases additional cases with mutations of interest.
An official statement issued by the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said, the new cases were among 8th batch of 350 samples sequenced by the UP-Philippine Genome Center.
Of the six South African variant cases, three are local cases, two are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and one case is still being verified as to location.
The three local cases were reported as residents of Pasay City. Meanwhile, the two returning overseas Filipinos arrived in the country from UAE and Qatar; their statuses are currently being verified. Moreover, the DOH is currently verifying if the sixth case is a local case or an imported case.
“To date, there are already 48 countries with reported cases of the B.1.351 variant. While there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease, the pattern of mutations within this variant suggests higher transmissibility and may have an impact on vaccine efficacy,” DOH said.
Meanwhile, of the 30 new cases of the UK variant 20 of these are ROFs; three are local cases, and seven are currently being verified if these are local cases or ROFs.
The 20 detected ROFs entered the country from the Middle East, Singapore, and the United States of America between January 20 and February 16, 2021. Thirteen (13) of these are asymptomatic active cases, while seven have now recovered.
On the other hand, the three (3) local B.1.1.7 variant cases are from the Cordillera Administrative Region.
One case is currently active and is admitted to a hospital, one has recovered, and one is a reported fatality. The relation of the 3 local cases to previously reported B.1.1.7 variant cases in the region is currently being investigated.
On the cases with mutations of interest, the latest sequencing results showed that two (2) additional samples from Region 7 were found to have both N501Y and E484K mutations.
The DOH reiterated that despite the arrival of the vaccines in the country, adherence to minimum public health standards is still the best course of action to prevent community transmission and further virus mutations.
MANILA, Philippines – San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora confirmed on Monday that he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a Facebook post, Zamora said he is currently under quarantine at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
“I would like to announce that I have tested positive with COVID-19. My results came out today after a routine swab test yesterday evening, February 28, 2021. A confirmatory test was done today and the results turned out to be positive,” he said.
“I have decided to quarantine myself in Cardinal Santos Medical Center to ensure that I do not transmit the virus to anyone else in the community and to protect everyone around me including my children and my wife who is a cancer survivor,” he added.
I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am asymptomatic and in good physical condition. I have decided to quarantine…
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