Health workers attend to patients at the chapel of Quezon City General Hospital and Medical Center (QCGHMC) on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, as it converted the chapel into an intensive care unit (ICU) ward as a response to the increasing number of severe COVID-19 cases. (File phot by /GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is appealing to the medical personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for help in hospitals as COVID-19 infections rise among health workers.

In his second taped briefing of the week that started airing on Wednesday, the President acknowledged a “dearth of supply of human resources” in the health sector due to COVID-19 infections.

“If there are no others, there are the nurses in the police force — there are many of them — and in the medical corps of the Army. I have to use a little of my influence on them to convince them. I’m just requesting that they help our countrymen,” he said in Filipino.

“If I can’t pull in anyone,  it will have to you because I have nobody else to rely on,” he added. “I am ordering the medical corps of the AFP and the PNP, please place your human resources on ready, on deck. Because ‘I can quickly count on them”

For his part, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the AFP has sent some nurses to St. Luke’s Medical Center.

The AFP will also continue looking for nurses and other medical personnel in its ranks who could be deployed to hospitals in Metro Manila, Lorenzana added.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has logged a total of 2.4 million COVID-19 cases, with 37,228 deaths, 2.2 million recoveries, and 162,580 active cases.


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