BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command yesterday deployed a 12-man team of military doctors, nurses and medical aides to Bacolod City to augment efforts of the local government unit in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deployment of AFP medical personnel in Bacolod City was in response to the request of Mayor Evelio Leonardia to President Rodrigo Duterte to fill the gap left by doctors and nurses, who are still on quarantine, or serve as alternates of the hospital staff on duty.
Maj. Eduardo Precioso, Public Information Officer of the AFP Central Command, said yesterday that the military doctors, nurses and health aide personnel, equipped with PPEs (Protective Personnel Equipment), were transported by an Air Force plane from Cebu to Negros Occidental.
The medical team is composed of two doctors, four nurses and six health aide personnel.
Precioso said they will be stationed at the Dr. Pablo O. Torre Medical Center and Queen of Mercy Hospital in Bacolod City.
The AFP Central Command in Visayas is headed by Lt. Gen. Roberto Ancan,who is a Negrense.
Before their flight to the Bacolod-Silay Airport, the members of the medical team underwent the necessary health precautionary measures, Precioso said.
Department of Health regional chief Dr.Marlyn Convocar said in an advisory that the AFP medical health personnel will be stationed in private hospitals in Bacolod City which have a high number of admitted COVID-19 patients and with high care utilization rate.
Convocar said these two private hospitals have expressed willingness to increase their COVID-19 bed allocation but lacked the necessary workers to complement the expansion.
She added that DOH Western Visayas will also deploy 10 nurses to be assigned at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital.
Another batch of health workers from DOH Central Visayas, composed of 10 nurses, will also be deployed in health facilities in Bacolod and Iloilo on Sept. 1.
Convocar said that these health personnel responded to the recruitment made by the DOH Central Visayas for emergency hiring of medical personnel for COVID response.
All of them will be provided with pre-deployment orientation and capacity building, complete set of PPEs, full board and lodging in their areas of assignment, full payment of travelling expenses, diligent monitoring of health status, 14-day working schedule and deployment, as well as observance of a 14-day quarantine period post deployment with pay, she added.
The Office of the President has kept its promise to immediately assist Bacolod City amid the worsening COVID-19 health crisis, Leonardia also said yesterday.
Leonardia said that 10,000 test kits, 2,000 PPEs (personal protective equipment) and 400 Remdisivir antiviral medicine are being sent to Bacolod.*