DOH Central Visayas Regional director Dr. Jaime Bernadas said at least 400 registered nurses were needed to increase the medical front-liners in Cebu and the entire region, so far recruited only 50. Health officials are appealing to new nursing graduates to help their fellow Cebuanos amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the shortage of health workers. He implores nurses to apply in our various hospitals and help in the fight against COVID-19.
Hospitals still have vacant beds but lack the manpower to take care of the patients, one of their problems was that registered nurses who had yet to be assigned to facilities with high numbers of COVID-19 infections were afraid to work in isolation centers and hospitals, he added. Bernadas asked the DOH central office to help the medical workforce in Central Visayas to allow them to recruit nurses who still had to take the board examination but Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had yet to respond to the request.
According to Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center, in the past two weeks at least 132 healthcare workers had been infected with COVID-19 among them were doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, medical technologists, laboratory technicians, and paramedics in 31 hospitals, medical clinics, and quarantines. Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, ordered the creation of a “mega isolation center” at Cebu City Sports Center to help decongest hospitals and other COVID-19 facilities. Cebu City health officer Jeffrey Ibones said the city government was also hiring 200 nurses to cope with the surge.