AC COVID-19 positive violated health and safety protocols: RLMMC doctor

ANGELES CITY – Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMMC) Officer-in-charge Dr. Froilan Canlas was both saddened and outraged upon hearing of a netizen’s post slamming the COVID-19 response and management of the city government.

This, after a netizen, who is also a COVID-19 positive patient from Barangay Malabanias, claimed that she did not receive any assistance from the city government, saying “walang kahit anong tulong o action ang dumating sa amin from our local government.”

The netizen also wrote that, “tumatawag lang lagi ang LGU, mga nurses, pero wala po talaga action.”

On the contrary, Dr. Canlas said, the city government provided the services needed by the patient and her family including –  extraction from their house and transfer to quarantine facilities, free medical check-up, disinfection of their house and nearby premises, and the continuous monitoring of her family’s health condition by the health workers, which according to Dr. Canlas is their primary role.

“They will not be admitted to Asean Convention Center and New Clark City if not for the efforts of the City Government. Tayo ang nakipag coordinate doon at tayo rin naghatid sa kanila,” Canlas said.

Canlas also explained monitoring the patient thru phone call is the protocol even in hospital. The medical staff cannot visit them to ensure that medical front liners handling COVID-19 patients are not exposed.

“The surge in the city’s COVID-19 cases is seen and that the number of health workers assigned in COVID-19 wards are just limited. We need to make sure that we are maximizing our city’s resources,” he added.

Since the RLMMC and the City College of Angeles (CCA), the designated quarantine facility of the city government for suspected COVID-19 cases, are currently at full capacity, the Barangay Health and Emergency Response Team (BHERT) in Malabanias immediately placed the netizen’s house on lockdown, isolating them at home to limit their movements, in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force protocols.

Still, the netizen decided to leave the house to have her family members receive swab tests at the Green City Medical Center in the City of San Fernando.

However, the city government is actually providing free RT-Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing or swab tests for Angeleños experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, but the city has to schedule this accordingly.

“May timing kasi ang PCR test. Binibilang ang araw niyan from your initial exposure. E ang pasyente natin from Malabanias, hindi nakapaghintay. Lumabas ng bahay, she has even broken the home lockdown protocol to have swab test elsewhere kahit hindi pa kailangan since may prescribed period yun,” Canlas said.

“Actually, matigas ang ulo ng pasyente. Hindi siya sumunod sa protocol. Then lahat isisi sa gobyerno,” he added.

In this event, Canlas also defended the 42 health workers assigned to the COVID-19 wards of RLMMC, saying “what they are doing is actually a thankless job. It is a life and death situation and yet they are still willing to risk their lives in the line of duty, without asking for anything in return. It is disheartening for them to read such un-appreciative comments.”

Since the impose of a community quarantine in March, Canlas said, the city’s health workers and front liners have continuously worked 24/7 to help the city government in their efforts to fight the pandemic.

As a matter of fact, most of them have not been able to return to their homes to see their families, since they just choose to stay in the hospital’s quarantine facilities.

“Alam ninyo ba kung gaano kahirap para sa isang health worker na hindi na halos makauwi sa kanilang mga pamilya, kahit gaano pa nila kagusto. Bakit? Kasi mas pinipili nilang unahin ang kapakanan ng ibang tao,” Canlas reiterated.

RLMMC is the pioneer and only full capacity COVID-19 hospital in the city. It was established by Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. with the help of Dr. Canlas to serve Angeleños affected by COVID-19.

“RLMMC is the COVID center of Angeles dahil walang may gusto sa mga hospital. Lahat ng COVID-19 suspects, we test them, isolate the positives, and treat them accordingly. It is a gigantic job. Continuous ang serbisyo ng mga tao natin dito, 24/7,” explained Canlas.

He also furthered that, “as public servants, our health workers understand that they have a higher calling – a greater duty to those in need. Pero para sabihin na wala silang ginagawa sa kabila ng mga sakripisyo nila, parang hindi na nila alam kung tamang ituloy pa nila ang pagseserbisyo nila.”

Aside from doing their part in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Canlas urged Angeleños to empathize with the city’s health workers to have a better understanding of what they do.

“Bago po tayo mag-rant or mag-comment sa social media, ilagay muna po natin ang mga sarili natin sa posisyon ng mga health workers, para mas maunawaan natin yung pinagdadaanan nila sa araw-araw. Ginagawa naman nila lahat sa abot ng makakaya nila,” Canlas said.

He also asked everyone to continue praying for the city’s health workers and front liners.

Canlas also debunked the claim of the patient from Malabanias about not being swabbed after 14 days.

“Ang protocol kasi dyan sa New Clark City at Asean Convention Center, patients will be quarantined for 14 days then pag wala ng symptoms pauuwiin at iququarantine for another 7 days sa bahay. Protocol yan ng national na accepted ng DOH. Hindi yan dapat isisi na naman sa city government,” Canlas said.

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