By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Both Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia urged the public to stop discriminating medical workers amid the ongoing situation surrounding the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19. In his message, the governor called it “a shame” to discriminate against frontliners, noting, “They sacrifice themselves for the profession that they choose.”
He said discriminating against healthcare workers is one of the Filipino people’s “worst traits” and assured the public, medical professionals are taking care of themselves well and following protocol.
“This is very sad because it should be during these difficult times that our unwavering support is most needed,” Lacson pointed out. “Our warriors deserve our prayers, compassion, and respect; not our indifference.”
Meanwhile, Leonardia characterized such behavior as “deplorable,” pointing out, “Some medical doctors in the country have already made the ultimate sacrifice after being infected by the virus.”
In order to address the issue, the mayor ordered City Administrator Em Ang to explore support options or arrangements that can be done in partnership with the government or private establishments.
He also urged city residents to fully support healthcare workers as they deserve inspiration and encouragement.
“Be compassionate,” Leonardia added. “Stop the discrimination.”
Earlier this week, the Riverside Medical Center sent a letter to Lacson indicating medical workers have reported being denied rides by pedicabs and jeepneys, not allowed entry into coffee shops, verbally harassed by police officers, and ordered to vacate their places of residence by landlords and neighbors.
In a separate letter, Philippine College of Physicians Negros Occidental chapter president, Dr. Connie Rose Benjamin, called on the governor to intervene in the matter.
She explained, not all medical staff had come in contact with the confirmed coronavirus patient, noting, prior to testing positive, they had already been isolated and all medical staff exposed to the patient in question were quarantined./DGB, WDJ