Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Friday 102 medical frontliners were drafted as substitutes for their peers who are fighting the COVID-19 in areas with the highest number of infections. Exhausted, frontliners last week called for a timeout and a reboot of the government's strategy.
Duque said 74 healthcare workers from Luzon — 16 doctors, 45 nurses, four medical technicians, nine other healthcare practitioners — signed up for the reinforcement squad. Add 28 from the Visayas and Mindanao (eight doctors, 16 nurses, four medical technologists) and that makes 102 volunteer frontliners in total.
"Healthcare workers are heroes who save lives daily," Duque said in a joint press coference of the Department of Health and Health Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19. "And it is only right that we take care of them, as they have kindly taken care of us."
Earlier Friday, the DOH appealed to doctors from barrios to volunteer and susbstitute their colleagues in Metro Manila. The DOH is also finalizing arrangements such as hazard pay, free accomodation, and free transportation for the substitution team, Duque added.