MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the proposed free hotel accommodations for medical front-liners treating coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID directed the Department of Tourism (DOT) to help health workers find a hotel that will serve as their temporary shelter amid the country’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
“Inaatasan ng inter-agency ang Department of Tourism na mag-bigay po ng hotel rooms kung saan pwedeng tumira ang ating health workers, ang ating front-liners (The inter-agency is directing the Department of Tourism to provide hotel rooms where our health workers, our front-liners can stay),” Roque said in a virtual presser.
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was tasked to make an inventory of available hotel rooms for health workers, Roque said.
The latest move came since mass public transportation has been suspended in the entire Luzon following the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In March, the IATF-EID ordered the Department of Transportation to provide free shuttle services to health workers during the ECQ period.
Roque said medical workers deserve to get free temporary housing.
“Napakaliit na bagay naman po ito na ibibigay natin sa ating mga front-liner dahil sa kanilang sakripisyo (Providing front-liners a hotel accommodation is just a small thing compared to their sacrifices),” he said.
Roque said the IATF-EID also tasked the National Task Force’s Task Group for Resource Management and Logistics to compile the logistical requirements for health and emergency front-liners.
The Department of Health reported Wednesday that some 1,062 health workers in the country have contracted Covid-19.
Roque said the government would ensure the strict enforcement of infectious operational protocols to protect healthcare workers in the country.
“Talagang nababahala po ang gobyerno dahil kung tuluyang magkakasakit ang mga front-liner natin, sino po ang mag-aalaga sa atin (The government is really alarmed because if all of our front-liners get infected with Covid-19, who would take care of us)?” he said.
Roque said the government would ramp up the production of personal protective equipment to make sure that medical front-liners are safe from the novel coronavirus.
He added that the government would hire more healthcare personnel to reduce the risk of medical front-liners of getting Covid-19.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines has 6,710 confirmed Covid-19 infections, with 446 fatalities and 693 deaths. (PNA)