Hospitals worry about PPE supply amid rising COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 5) — A group of physicians on Monday said it has received reports that the supply of personal protective equipment for hospital staff treating COVID-19 patients is dwindling amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Philippine College of Physicians Vice President Dr. Maricar Limpin, who works at government hospital Philippine Heart Center and private facility Mary Johnston Hospital, said they are concerned about the decreasing number of protective gear and the quality of some PPE that are available.

"Meron pang available PPE, but of course, para sa amin nakikita namin na ang ibang PPE — siguro sabihin na natin na — hindi kami comfortable in really using kasi baka pati kami magkaroon ng infection," she told CNN Philippines. "Sa iba, I heard, na nauubusan na rin sila sa ibang hospitals. I hope mabigyan ng pansin ang PPE na ito."

[Translation: There are still available PPE, but with some of them, we are not comfortable in using them because we may contract the infection. I also heard from others that they are running short of supply. I hope this issue can be given attention.]

National Task Force Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon has assured the national government will provide public hospitals with necessary supplies, including PPE.

The shortage of PPE was a problem in the Philippines in the first few months of the pandemic back in 2020. Some hospital staff opted to wear garbage bags as improvised protective gear. Back then, hospitals relied on donations from private groups and individuals.

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DOH said there is enough supply of PPE.