Over 3K health care workers in government health facilities under isolation due to COVID — DOH

But Health USec Vega says health care facilities in Metro Manila still “manageable”

Health Undersecretary and One Hospital Command Center chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega during the Laging Handa press briefing on Thursday, January 13, 2022 (Screenshot of PTV4 video)


(Eagle News) – Over 3,000 of the 26,000 government health care workers in the country were under isolation as of Wednesday, January 12, affecting manpower of health facilities especially in Metro Manila.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said that 3,114 health care workers in isolation were mostly in Metro Manila, representing 11 percent of the total health care workers in government instutions nationwide.

But Vega maintained that despite this event, the health care utilization in Metro Manila was still manageable because of various strategies employes in hospitals.

So, dito sa Metro Manila, ang aming count – kasi nagri-report naman ang Department of Health, lalung-lalo na itong mga government hospitals – so mayroon kaming nakita kahapon na data na mga 3,114 ang bilang ng mga health care workers na naka-isolate, ito ay mga 11% ng total ng health care workers na nasa government institution na 26,000,” the DOH official said in a Laging Handa press briefing on Thursday, January 13.

Among the strategies employes in some hospitals were closing some services in the Out-Patient Department (OPD) and postponing special services such as elective surgeries so that more health workers could be deployed to COVID allocated areas.

-Shortened quarantine for fully vaxxed asymptomatic health workers passed experts’ studies-

Vega also said that the shortened quarantine for fully vaccinated COVID positive mild and asymptomatic health care workers at five days would favor health care systems.

He said that since most of the health care workers are already fully vaccinated and many have even received booster doses, the five-day quarantine is enough, and that the decision to shoten the quarantine period is based on scientific evidence. It also passed the study of the expert panel and the technical advisory group of the Department of Health.

So, iyong protection or immunity level nila (health care workers), mas mataas, kaya napansin po and even sa internationally na kailangan na talaga i-update ang protocols ng COVID-19 based ito sa vaccinations natin at saka, of course, sa behavior ng Omicron,”Vega explained.

He said that the incubation period of Omicron cases is only from two to three days, whereas previous COVID-19 variants take longer – from five to seven days.

Kasi nakita nila iyong Omicron eh ang incubation period nito lesser na, two to three days compared doon sa, noong original Wuhan virus ng COVID-19 na talagang mga 5 to 7 days. So, definitely, ito ay naka-base sa mga scientific data na ginawa rin ng international institutions, pag-ikli ng isolation sa asymptomatic, mild at sa mga health care workers from 7 to 5 days,” Vega explained.

He said that they are also completing a memorandum of agreement with the uniformed personnel such as with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in case they need to be deployed in regions with the DOH.

(Eagle News Service)