Stricter quarantine rules contain infections among healthcare workers, data show

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) — Stricter quarantine measures have contained COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers in hospitals, according to data.

At a University of the Philippines town hall forum on Friday, Philippine General Hospital director Gerardo Legaspi said the hospital has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases among doctors and nurses when Metro Manila was placed under general community quarantine in June to July.

He added that most positive cases are healthcare workers not assigned to the COVID-19 wards, even as PGH is a referral hospital.

“We saw a rapid rise in our healthcare worker infection and this is mainly due to the exposure in the community,” Legaspi said.

According to their data from July 1 to 24, 66 out of 140 COVID-19 positive heath care workers contracted the virus from their communities. Only 25 had direct contact with patients at the hospital.

Legaspi said cases have begun to decline in August when the Inter-Agency Task Force imposed a modified community quarantine in Metro Manila and in four other provinces in response to the cry of health workers for a “timeout.”

Another referral hospital, the Philippine Lung Center, shared the same concern.

It said it also saw a rise in positive cases in July with 24 patients, and it began to also decline in August now at 11 cases.

Legaspi said it is important to craft hospital guidelines after consulting with their entire medical staff for proper intervention and medical care for frontliners.