5 doctors, 3 nurses get coronavirus in Davao City

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 31) — Five doctors and three nurses confined at the Southern Philippine Medical Center in Davao City have tested positive for coronavirus infection, health officials have confirmed.

Annabelle Yumang, director of the Department of Health in the Davao region, confirmed this in a media briefing on Tuesday.

The SPMC's Medical Center Chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega admitted that one of the doctors and a nurse from their hospital breached protocol in handling the protective gear while attending to a patient infected with COVID-19.

Three of the healthcare workers were from other health units, Yumang said. She did not disclose if the two other infected medical professionals are also with the SMPC or a different hospital.

SPMC is one of the local-level testing centers in the country certified by the DOH to conduct COVID-19 tests.

Davao region has 50 COVID-19 cases with six deaths — all in Davao City – and five have so far recovered from the viral disease as of March 30.

Yumang also confirmed cases of local transmission in the Davao region.

She cited the case of at least 11 patients who visited a cockpit arena in Matina, Davao City, where a known positive patient had visited. Three of them were among the six fatalities in the region.

Other patients were exposed to a known COVID-19 case while at least 18 have history of travel to Metro Manila.

Davao City is now under enhanced community quarantine, like Luzon and other areas which have restricted people's movement to contain the spread of the virus.

The Philippines now has more than 2,084 COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 88 have died while 49 have recovered.

Among the fatalities are 17 doctors, according to the Philippine Medical Association.