Rhodina Villanueva – The Philippine Star
September 16, 2022 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Over 33,000 health care workers (HCWs) in the country have been infected with COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
In a DOH webinar yesterday, Dr. Carmela Granada, division chief of the DOH’s Public Health Operations Center, said “in terms of COVID-19 cases for our HCWs, as of Sept. 14, 2022, we have reported a total of 33,137 cases.”
She noted that this number included 125 fatalities, or 0.4 percent of the total, since March 2020.
“A majority of these cases, that is 34 percent, are from the hospitals and private clinics. This is obvious since our health care workers are the ones who are directly taking care of the patients,” Granada pointed out.
Particularly, the health official said that for this year, increase in HCW cases was observed from July to August.
Meanwhile, Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag, Philippine Medical Association president, agreed with Granada.
“We directly interact with these patients that is why it is important that we are protected. At first, we may not be aware that the patient is COVID-19 positive, that is why we get infected,” Calimag said.
She added, “And because we have direct interaction with patients and we get infected, we become (virus) carriers also.”
Apart from stressing the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted among HCWs and senior citizens, the health experts said the general population and especially those with comorbidities and immunocompromised should have themselves vaccinated and boosted.
The DOH also reported that as of Sept. 14, more than 72 million individuals or 93.23 percent of the target population have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
More than 18 million individuals (23.89 percent) have received their booster shots.
The DOH likewise said that 6.8 million senior citizens or 78.20 percent of the target A2 population were able to receive their primary vaccine series.
The DOH earlier announced that it will conduct a special weeklong vaccination drive from Sept. 26 to 30, 2022, in line with efforts to ramp up the country’s immunity against COVID-19.