THE Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) will deploy 100 nurses to assist in hospitals and medical facilities in the National Capitol Region Plus (NCR Plus).
NCR Plus covers the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The Opav has coordinated with the three regions in the Visayas in enlisting applicants.
As of Monday, April 5, 2021, 40 nurses from Cebu have qualified and will be sent to the NCR Plus on April 7 or 8, said Opav Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales.
Twenty of the nurses are from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and 20 are from the Department of Health (DOH) 7.
The nurses from the VSMMC have been processed and have received the second dose of the vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In Region 8, 15 nurses and four doctors have qualified, Gonzales said.
If the Opav can attract more applicants, it will send more health care workers to the NCR Plus, he said.
Gonzales said qualified health care workers will receive a Bayani incentive of P5,000 per month from Opav and Project Balik Buhay for the three-month contract.
He said the Opav is also calling on registered nurses who are unemployed to grab this opportunity and apply at the DOH regional centers.
A nurse will get a monthly salary of P33,575, while doctors will receive P60,901.
On top of this, they will get a premium of 20 percent, round-trip traveling expenses courtesy of the DOH and a PhilHealth premium. Their lodging and transportation will be shouldered by the host hospital.
Applicants must have six months of experience, Gonzales said.
The health care workers will be deployed to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Lung Center of the Philippines, San Lazaro Hospital, Tondo Medical Center and Rizal Medical Center.
Aside from health care workers, Gonzales told SunStar Cebu that Opav together with the Project Balik Buhay will raise money to purchase P1 million worth of medicines that will be sent to the NCR Plus.
Gonzales said they have also coordinated with the DOH 7 to conduct a convalescent plasma drive for the NCR Plus.
He said the health care workers’ deployment will not affect the Covid-19 response in the Visayas.
“We have consulted the different regional directors and they are all supportive,” he said.
He pointed out that the critical care utilization rate in the region is below the threshold of 70 percent and Covid-19 cases are going down.
Cebu City cases
In Cebu City, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) reported 39 new cases and 135 recoveries. This a far-cry from the more than 200 cases logged several weeks ago.
Barangay Guadalupe still logged the most number of active cases with 74, followed by Barangay Lahug with 55, Barangay Talamban with 46, Barangay Camputhaw with 45 and Barangays Apas and Mabolo with 34 each.
Based on the EOC’s monitoring, Cebu City has 1,102 active cases that are confined in quarantine facilities, isolation centers and hotels accredited by the DOH 7.
Mayor Edgardo Labella urged residents to continue complying with safety and health protocols to contain the pandemic.
Nationwide, coronavirus infections climbed past 800,000 on April 5, although the DOH confirmed fewer cases because some testing laboratories were closed for the Holy Week.
The DOH case bulletin at 4 p.m. Monday showed 8,355 additional cases of Covid-19, which brought the cumulative case count to 803,398.
Active cases increased to 143,726, or 17.9 percent of the total caseload. Most, or 97.5 percent, had mild symptoms, 1.1 percent had no symptoms, 0.34 percent had moderate symptoms, 0.6 percent were severe cases and 0.5 percent were in critical condition.
The 8,355 new cases were lower than the seven-day moving average of over 10,000 since April 3.
The DOH cautioned that this does not mean a slowdown in transmission. Of the 239 licensed laboratories nationwide, DOH said 20 were closed and only 219 conducted tests on April 1 while 23 were closed and 216 conducted tests on April 2.
Testing was low at only 21,537 samples as of noon of April 4, of which 21 percent yielded positive results. This meant that more than one in five samples tested were positive for Sars-CoV-2.
There were 10 additional mortalities, raising the Covid-19 death toll to 13,435. The case fatality rate decreased further to 1.67 percent.
The DOH earlier explained that it was still reconciling its data on mortalities with those reported to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which earlier reported a higher Covid-19 death toll based on medical certificates that form part of death certificates.
There were also 145 new recoveries, bringing the total to 646,237, or 80.4 percent of the cumulative cases.
Based on the DOH tracker, Quezon City has the highest number of new cases nationwide, posting 11,693 in the last 14 days until April 4. Quezon City is also the most populous city in the country with a population of more than three million.
It was followed by Manila with 8,741 new cases for the same period; Cavite with 6,473; Bulacan with 5,880; and Rizal with 5,079.
Among the regions, the NCR has the biggest number of new cases. In the last 14 days until April 4, NCR recorded 58,331 new infections, followed by Calabarzon with 18,436; Central Luzon with 10,581; Cagayan Valley with 4,027; and Central Visayas with 3,397. (KFD, PAC, MVI / SunStar Philippines)