12,576 cases another record daily high; Active COVID cases at 165k

The Department of Health reported 12,576 additional cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, another record-breaking figure for single-day counts without backlogs.

Active cases are now at 165,715, bringing total cases to 784,043. There were also 599 new recoveries and 103 new deaths.

Total deaths due to COVID-19 are now at 13,423, while total recoveries are at 604,905.

Seven labs were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Document Repository System on April 2, the DOH said.

Meanwhile, despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection of 117 out of its 180 health personnel, the Philippine Orthopedic Center will continue to save lives and serve the public amid the pandemic, its chief, Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr., said on Saturday.

“This is what we signed up for. This is what being a doctor and health worker means in the time of pandemic: that we man the front lines and save lives even as we put our own in peril,” Pujalte said, adding that he himself tested positive, with his “current oxygen saturation hovering in the low 90s and catching his breath.”

He said his Chief of Clinics also tested positive for Covid-19 and this has become the fate of a lot of health workers in the Philippine Orthopedic Center.

Pujalte, however, noted that even well-run hospitals, such as the POC, as well as the most progressive countries, could be hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.

"Even our best of efforts can be thwarted by this virus whose dimensions we have only recently learned and whose shape keeps shifting and changing. And whose features keep morphing," he said. “That even a government that strives to give its best to its citizens will experience incredibly humbling moments of defeat.”

He added it has become clear now that this virus asks "the best of us if we are to defeat it and have it under control."

In a separate statement, POC officer in charge, Dr. John Andrew Michael Bengzon, said the hospital had been accommodating patients since the lockdown more than a year ago.

With outpatients numbering from 350 to 450 a day and the increasing positivity rate, Bengzon confirmed that 117 out of the 180 swabbed staff have tested positive for the virus.

Several measures have been put in place at the POC, including putting on hold elective or non-emergency surgeries.

The Out Patient Department (OPD), he added, is likewise temporarily closed but consultations would continue through online teleconsult via the POC Orthopedic Surgery OPD Facebook page.

Its emergency room, on the other hand, remains open for any orthopedic emergencies, he said.

The POC at present has 216 patients and 12 Covid-19 cases.

Following the outbreak among its personnel, the hospital has facilitated quarantine for staff who need help through the One Hospital Command Center of the Department of Health.

"As of April 2, 36 have been facilitated admissions in quarantine centers. This is over the 40 allotted beds POC can accommodate for its own staff," Bengzon said.

All service areas and offices have also been disinfected while work hours for the rest of the staff have been adjusted.

He said the rollout of the second dose of CoronaVac vaccines would proceed on April 5 to 12, while the mandatory swab testing for other personnel would begin April 7.

The POC also appealed for more personal protective equipment and face masks to allow their workers to double mask.

It likewise asked the public to continue to self-quarantine.

“The POC shall continue with its mandate as a specialty hospital for orthopedic care even during this difficult time. Please pray for us and help the nation by staying home,” Bengzon said.

Credit belongs to : www.manilastandard.net

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