Reserve med corps

July 09, 2020

It takes an army to wage war’ but it takes corps to win specific battles.

A corps of experts and specialists is given a defined mission in support of the total war effort.

And since we are at war against a microbiological enemy, the country must have a robust standby force of medical professionals who are the frontline of the battle.         

The constant replenishment of this reserve force is critical to winning the battle against the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic.  

Thus, we fully agree with and strongly support Sen. Imee Marcos in caling for the immediate recruitment of fresh troops for a medical reserve corps  before health care workers reach their breaking point, citing the rising cases of Covid-19 infection outside Metro Manila, particularly Cebu and southern Mindanao.

Marcos noted that mutations of the virus and the emergence of possible epidemics of dengue and leptospirosis with the onset of the rainy season may complicate the fight against Covid-19.

"Let's not wait for future epidemics and pandemics to push our highly stressed medical frontliners to their human limits. Their safety is our safety too," she  said.

She expressed unease about the Department of Health's lack of transparent data on whether hospitals were reaching maximum capacity and if testing centers had enough qualified personnel to attain the goal of testing 50,000 people per day by the end of June.

"We can't afford this prolonged guessing game about whether the country is truly flattening the curve. We missed the target to increase testing capacity to 30,000 people per day by the end of May and have been stuck at about 10,000 to 15,000 daily," the lady lawmaker  said.

To boost the country's preparedness for health emergencies, Marcos has proposed to create a medical reserve corps through Senate Bill 1592.

Volunteer health care providers, as individuals or institutions, would compose the medical reserve corps that the government can train and call to duty, providing proper compensation, when health emergencies occur.

The bill calls for a database of recruits that will need to be updated quarterly by the Department of Health, Professional Regulatory Commission, and the Commission on Higher Education.

"Coordination with local government units will also be important to designate quarantine areas in advance and staff them adequately," Marcos said.

Meanwhile, the sudden increase in confirmed Covid19 cases did not as  a surprise, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace already expects the continuing rise in Covid-19 infections in the country, considering that there is still no vaccine or drug to treat people infected with the new coronavirus.

“The spike in Covid-19 cases is no longer surprising because there is still no vaccine or drug against the disease,” Roque said.

As of Tuesday, the country has logged 47,873 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 12,386 recoveries and 1,309 deaths.

The Philippines is now the second country in Southeast Asia with highest Covid-19 cases after it surpassed Singapore’s coronavirus count on Monday. Indonesia continues to top the list of countries in the region with over 60,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Roque allayed public fears, saying that the rising number of Covid-19 infections in the country should not be a cause for alarm.

On July 1, he was ecstatic over the country’s “small victory” after the University of the Philippines  researchers’ prediction of 40,000 Covid-19 cases in the Philippines by June 30 was not realized.

On June 30, around 37,514 Covid-19 infections have been recorded in the country.

Roque on July 2 acknowledged that the country is still facing a “big problem” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.