Another doctor at COVID-19 frontline dies

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 14) — Another doctor at the frontline of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen.

The Makati Medical Center confirmed on Tuesday that Dr. Roberto “Bobby” Anastacio, a cardiovascular medicine specialist who had been working at the hospital for 30 years, has died. The cause of death was not disclosed.

“[His] oath, commitment and dedication led him to fight at the COVID-19 frontline,” the hospital said. “Dr. Bobby was not just a health hero for MakatiMed, but also a friend and family.”

“MakatiMed salutes Dr. Bobby and the many other health heroes who poured their hearts into the medical vocation to the extent of sacrificing their lives so that others may live,” the hospital added.

Anastacio was also a cardiologist at the University of Santos Tomas Hospital and member of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

In a previous recognition award, UST Hospital described Anastacio as "a great pillar" and "enduring inspiration" of the institution.

The late physician was also a former chairman of the Cardiac Graphics Section of the Philippine Heart Center.

According to the Health Department, 12 healthcare workers have died due to COVID-19, but did not specify their professions in the health sector.

Earlier, the Philippine Medical Association gave a different number, saying 17 doctors died from the coronavirus. The group said these deaths could have been prevented had there been enough protective gear.

Health officials have since procured one million sets of personal protective equipment to be distributed to different hospitals. These sets, containing N95 masks, surgical gowns, gloves, head cover and foot covers, will come in batches until April 24.