PNP records 104 cases of attacks, discrimination vs health workers amid COVID-19 crisis

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MANILA – More than a hundred cases of attacks and discrimination targeting health workers have been recorded during the enhanced community quarantine because of the coronavirus crisis, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported Saturday.

The PNP said that from March 19 to April 29, they have recorded 104 cases: 53 have been already been resolved, 13 were "cleared", while 38 are still under investigation.

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield, said 39 suspects have also been arrested and charged.

Eleazar reiterated the directive of PNP Chief Archie Gamboa to protect health workers from harm.

PNP data showed that Central Visayas registered the most cases of attacks and discrimination against health workers at 17, followed by Western Visayas, 14, Mimaropa, 11 and Metro Manila 10.

Eleazar, meanwhile, urged health workers to save on their cellphones or to remember the JTF COVID-19 Shield's hotline numbers 0998-849-0013 (Smart) and 0917-538-2495 (Globe) or they may also report via email to [email protected]

Several health workers had complained of experiencing discrimination in their communities, mainly because neighbors were wary they may be carrying the contagious virus.

Some have reported being evicted from their rented apartments or avoided while outside.

In late March, several men splashed bleach on the face of a hospital utility staff worker in Sultan Kudarat upon seeing him in uniform while on the street. The man had to get his eyes checked for trauma and was in danger of losing his sight.

— Report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News

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