CABANATUAN CITY – The Philippine National Police has expressed readiness to deploy its nurses to beef up healthcare workers in local hospitals amid the surge in coronavirus cases, the Nueva Ecija interagency task force said.
The Bureau of Fire Protection, on the other hand, is just awaiting the approval of its central office, according to Fr. Arnold Abelardo, NE–IATF spokesperson.
As of Thursday, Nueva Ecija has 825 active Covid-19 cases, 145 deaths, and 2,229 dating to the start of the pandemic last year.
The move to tap nurses from various agencies such as PNP, BFP and the Philippine Army for both private and public hospitals in the province was raised during the recent NE–IATF protocols and Covid-19 concerns meeting.
Nueva Ecija police director Lt. Col. Jaime Santos said they have 76 registered nurses in the roll who are currently deployed in different quarantine facilities while those of the Army’s 48th Infantry Battalion are at the Fort Ramon Magsaysay Hospital.
Dr. Hubert Lapuz, chief of Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, said they have started to receive Covid-19 patients from the National Capital Region and other provinces via one hospital command center.
Of the 73 Covid-19 patients confined in the said facilities as of April 5, 73 percent were from Nueva Ecija and 23 percent came from other areas, he said.
Under the Department of Health Administrative Order 2020-0016A, in accordance with Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (RA 11469), each public hospital shall devote 30 to 50 percent of its total bed capacity for Covid-19 patients.
Private hospitals, on the other hand, shall set aside 20 to 30 percent of their bed capacity to Covid-19 patients.
There are at least 24,000 health workers in Nueva Ecija with 3,000 serving in 10 hospitals run by the provincial government, according to reports.