62 staff, 13 psychiatric patients of NCMH infected with coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, April 21, confirmed that 62 employees and 13 psychiatric patients of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) tested positive for coronavirus.
"Ang mga health workers na nag-positibo sa COVID-19 ngunit wala namang sintomas o asymptomatic ay naka-home quarantine. Patuloy na mino-monitor ng ating kagawaran sa kanilang araw-araw na kalagayan," DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
(Health workers who tested positive for COVID-19 and asymptomatic are under home quarantine. Our agency is continuously monitoring their condition.)
According to Vergeire, health workers experiencing symptoms have been admitted to different hospitals, while the psychiatric patients are under the health care of the Mandaluyong-based facility.
Vergeire also said that 4 employees and one psychiatric patient have recovered from the virus, while no deaths were reported among the patients so far.
On April 8, NCMH chief Roland Cortez ordered chief administrative officer Clarita Avila to stop issuing statements regarding the hospital's coronavirus response.
This was after Avila aired in a news report her concerns regarding the NCMH's response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the health status of hospital employees. (READ: NCMH chief gags exec over hospital's coronavirus response)
A week after the order, Avila was reassigned to the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Las Piñas.
"There is no reason whatsoever. I was not even called. They did not give me any explanation why I was reassigned. I can only surmise it's because of the exposé I made," Avila told Rappler.
Cortez, however, maintained that the request of transfer was due to Avila's "unsatisfactory performance" and not directly related to her coronavirus "exposé." (READ: NCMH exec behind 'exposé' reassigned to Las Piñas drug rehab center)
On Monday, April 20, the DOH also confirmed that 43 staff of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine tested positive for coronavirus, resulting in the scaling down of the country's main testing center for the virus.
The DOH said that a total of 766 health workers have been infected with the coronavirus as of April 17. Of this number, 339 are doctors and 242 are nurses. At least 22 health workers have died.
As of Tuesday, the Philippines has registered 6,599 cases of the coronavirus, with 437 deaths and 654 recoveries. – Rappler.com