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Health workers fight against discrimination against COVID-19 frontliners

Stop the stigma on COVID-19 frontliners

  • Two health employees were physically attacked on March 27 in two separate incidents.
  • A son also called out people who made rumors about his mom’s death ahead of her actual passing. 

Recently, there has been news about discrimination against health workers serving as frontliners in the battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A hospital employee in Tacurong City and a nurse in Cebu City made the headlines on March 27 after they were attacked in separate incidents by people who did not like the fact they were health workers.

Tacurong City’s St. Luis Hospital released a statement saying that five unidentified men ganged up against one of their personnel and splashed Zonrox (bleach) on his face while he was in front of the public market of President Quirino town. The incident happened around 5PM while he was on his way to work in the city which is located roughly nine kilometers from the town.

“Outnumbered and alone, he was helpless as these vile individuals splattered Zonrox all over his face, which could have caused irreparable and permanent damage to his eyes,” the hospital’s statement said.

The hospital also stated that the employee was able to run to the hospital wherein he was given immediate treatment.

“Instead of discriminating against health workers, to the point of committing unspeakable violence against them, we, as a community should show solidarity with these individuals who risk their lives to ensure that medical services remain unhampered. We heeded the call of duty when others would not.”

On the other hand, a male nurse in Cebu City was splashed with chlorine by two unidentified men riding a motorcycle in Barangay Labagon. He was hit on the leg.

“People please do not terrorize our health care workers. The COVID-19 is scary enough. No need for additional acts of abuse and vandalism. My nurses are not the virus. They are our warriors in fighting it and helping to keep our patients alive,” a doctor said.

The victim was in civilian clothes when it happened as their health workers are required to change clothes once they leave the hospital.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia threatened to take legal actions against those who discriminate front-liners, especially people in the health sector.

Meanwhile, a netizen expressed her disbelief when her brother, who is a doctor, called her saying that he can’t enter a bank because his sister is a PUI.

“I will withdraw my money from BDO after this crisis,” she tweeted.

Some people told the netizen that it may be the bank’s protocol as her brother is a close contact of a PUI.

On Facebook, Dennis Thomas Tudtud expressed his disappointment after his mother, Dr. Helen Tudtud, died of COVID-19.

“Mommy Helen has gone now and my heart is breaking. She was admitted March 17. I was still able to have video calls with her on March 18 to 21. On March 21, her condition deteriorated but she was fighting to stay alive. On March 23, her vital signs began to stabilize. She was fighting. It was only today that Mommy Helen took a different turn,” he wrote.

He also said that he’s angry at those who started rumors that his mother was dead nine days before she actually passed away.

“But even before my mom passed away, rumors were already circulating that my mom has died, as early as March 18!! Some heartless people even posted it all over social media. My mother was still fighting to stay alive but people were already killing her!”

Mommy Helen has gone now and my heart is breaking. She was admitted March 17. I was still able to have video calls with…

Posted by Dennis Thomas Tudtud on Friday, March 27, 2020

There are 1546 COVID-19 cases, 78 deaths, and 42 recoveries in the Philippines as of this writing.

Written by J M

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