The Philippines has an alarming mortality rate of its health care workers, according to the World Health Organisation.
WHO called attention to the “worrisome” trend of more health care workers getting infected with the new coronavirus in the Philippines compared to the rest of the Western Pacific region.
The Philippines is considered a hot spot with health care workers accounting for 13 percent of total infections, compared to the regional average of 2 to 3 percent, said Dr Abdi Mahamud, COVID-19 incident manager for Western Pacific.
“We are working very closely with the ministry of health to determine the reasons why the Philippines has a high percentage,” he said.
Mahamud could not yet tell why more medical front liners were getting infected in the Philippines. But he said it might have to do with insufficient supply of personal protective equipment and the volume of patients they attend to.
At least 766 health care workers have contracted the new coronavirus. The Philippines has a death toll of 428 out of 6,459 infections by Monday.
There are fears of a martial law-like lockdown in the Philippines after an Air Force internal memo ordering personnel to prepare for an expanded military role in enforcing quarantine orders was leaked online and armed policemen dressed in camouflage raided a high-end apartment compound over the weekend.
The one-page document, issued on Friday, instructed unit commanders to prepare to deploy their personnel to enforce the lockdown.
The military confirmed the document was legitimate, with Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo saying there was no reason to be “alarmed”.