A leader of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Friday said there should be mandatory mass testing and immediate distribution of personal protective equipment for medical workers who continue to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
“Kaugnay din ng serbisyong pangkalusugan, nananawagan kami na pabilisin ang distribusyon ng PPE para sa mga health workers, libre at mandatory testing para sa kanila, at iba pang hakbang para protektahan sila (In relation to health services, we are calling on the government to speed up the distribution of PPEs for health workers, free and mandatory testing for them and other steps to protect the medical frontliners.),” Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes said during an online protest on Labor Day.
Reyes also underscored the importance of mass testing, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients while the Enhanced Community Quarantine is in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.
“Ang walang taning na lockdown, o indefinite na ECQ, ay pahirap sa mga mahihirap na walang kabuhayan, lalo na kung napakabagal ang tulong mula sa gobyerno. Ang mga hakbanging pangkalusugan ay dapat nakatuon sa pagpigil ng paglaganap ng sakit at paglalatag ng batayan tungo sa pagluluwag ng ECQ sa lalong madaling panahon (The ongoing lockdown or indefinite ECQ has become difficult for poor families especially as there is a slow response from the government. Health strategies should be the focus to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease and to ease ECQ protocols.),” Reyes said.
“Kung walang mass testing, isolation at treatment, mauuwi lang ang gobyerno para sa indefinite lockdown na labis na pahirap sa mamamayan (If we do not have mass testing, isolation and treatment, the poor will continue to bear the brunt of the indefinite lockdown.),” said Reyes.
Last April 1, the Department of Health acquired more than 15,000 PPE sets ready for distribution for health workers.
On April 30, the government reported that 1,619 of medical workers were infected with COVID-19, while 33 health workers have died due to the respiratory disease.
Meanwhile, the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp.(SM – PSACC) and KMU– Pier also called for mass testing during a protest at the Port of Manila on Friday.
Labor groups pushed for proper health services, increase in hazard pay and assistance for all Filipino workers amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine in observance of Labor Day.