Davao City may tap health workers among AFP reservists to help fight COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 June) – The City Government of Davao may tap health workers who are listed as reservists in the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) to help the local government battle coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Sara Duterte said.

During a live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said the city might need AFP reservists as she anticipates a possible surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

She added, however, the number of COVID-19 cases remains “manageable” based on the statistics released by local health authorities.

According to the Department of Health-Davao, there are 529 total COVID-19 positives in Davao Region as of June 29: 411 in Davao City, 43 in Davao del Norte, 21 in Davao del Sur, 26 in Davao de Oro, 24 in Davao Oriental, and four in Davao Occidental.

Duterte said they want to tap the AFP reservists since only four health workers have so far heeded the call of the local government to “volunteer” in the fight against COVID-19 since March.

“Last March, we appealed for more volunteer health care workers. Right now, we only got four volunteers. We are looking for volunteers who want to help out of your love for your fellowmen and love for your city,” she said.

The mayor also asked other health care professionals such as dentists, medical technologists, doctors, among others, to sign up as reserve health care workers, this being one of the preparations of the city in the event that it would experience a surge in COVID-19 cases.

She added that the local government of Davao would not prohibit stranded individuals from returning here since the COVID-19 cases are currently manageable.

In a virtual press briefing on Monday, DOH-Davao assistant regional director Lenny Joy Rivera said the regional task force on COVID-19 discussed what measures they would need to implement as the region eased travel restrictions, receiving more returning overseas Filipinos and locally stranded individuals.

“The government has been doing all its best and all the strategies that should be implemented not only in Davao City but also in other provinces,” she said.

Dr. Ricardo Audan, chief of clinics and health emergency of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), said that as of June 26, the hospital conducted 2,700 tests for the frontline health workers, and had so far recorded 56 total frontliners who tested positive for COVID-19 with two deaths.

Of the 56 positives, 19 were doctors, 22 nurses, eight nursing attendants, one radiologic technologist, and six hospital personnel. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)