18 healthcare workers in VSMMC are COVID positive
CEBU CITY, Philippines — All the operating rooms at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) have been closed down after 18 healthcare workers have proven positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The VSMMC administration released a statement confirming that four doctors, seven nurses, two nursing attendants, and five institutional workers proved positive for the virus.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) further revealed in a press conference on January 5, 2021, that the cases began when an operating room nurse tested positive for the virus on December 28, 2020.
“Based on the report submitted to us, it started with one of the operating room nurses as late as December 28, 2020, when he reported for work not feeling well. He reported for work, assisted in the surgical operations in the operating room. It started from them,” said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche of the DOH-7.
In contrast to the statement of VSMMC that only four doctors were affected, the DOH-7 reported six doctors who proved positive for the virus.
Some of the positive doctors were symptomatic. Of the 18 health workers from VSMMC, a total of eight showed mild symptoms while the rest remain asymptomatic.
VSMMC has closed down its operating rooms from January 5 to 7, 2021, for decontamination purposes, but a separate room has been prepared for emergency surgeries should there be any.
“As part of the mitigating procedure, the management has been constantly reminding all of our personnel to be mindful of our existing protocols. We have never wavered in the strict implementation of our infection prevention and control measures,” said VSMMC in a statement.
Loreche said this incident shows that even hospitals remain vulnerable to the virus in spite of their strict health protocols.
Yet she added that this was not a reason to fear VSMMC as the hospital is quick to implement disinfection and contact tracing through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to ensure the safety of the other workers and patients.
The DOH-7 said the 18 health workers have been isolated in the hospital for those who have symptoms and accredited isolating facilities for those who are asymptomatic.
Loreche assured the public that the VSMMC remains safe for the patients who will need medical services and that the hospital has put up mitigating measures to prevent the spread of the virus. /rcg
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