Following reports that health workers have become the target of violent crimes, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will start escorting them to their workplaces, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced today in a virtual presscon.
Nograles, spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said, “[D]espite all the support and love our country has shown our health workers, it is unfortunate that we have received reports that these frontliners have come under attack.”
“To address this, the Philippine National Police Chief Archie Gamboa has directed all police units to provide every possible assistance and security to medical staff and health workers following violent attacks in Cebu and Sultan Kudarat,” he added.
A health worker was reportedly attacked by a gang on Friday last week in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. According to a statement released by the hospital where the health worker is employed, the suspects poured liquid disinfectant all over the victim’s face, which almost permanently damaged his eyesight if he were not given prompt treatment.
A nurse working in Cebu City was also harassed last week by motorcycle-riding men who splashed chlorine on his face.
Nograles said, “Threatening the safety of our health workers in the midst of this crisis is unacceptable, and the PNP is committed to apply the full might of the law against those who dare to harm our health workers––and will do whatever it takes to protect them from crime, violence, and any form of oppression and discrimination.”
“We will not allow our heroes to be harmed…For the added peace of mind of our health workers, PNP personnel manning Quarantine Control Stations are under instructions to assist them and escort them to their assigned hospitals,” he added.
Filipino health workers such as nurses and doctors have become modern-day heroes because of their involvement in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of them have passed away from the disease, with at least 17 doctors dying of coronavirus.
This article, PH police to secure health workers after being subjected to attacks, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!