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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 26, 2020
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‘Don’t discriminate
vs. hospital workers’


Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz appealed to the public yesterday to stop committing discriminatory acts against hospital workers out of fear of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Please let us not fight them, we need to show our all out support for them,” Diaz said.

Chuck Estrella, of the Riverside Medical Center Inc. corporate communications office, in a letter to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson asked for his intervention in these desperate times, amid discriminatory acts committed against personnel of the hospital.

“Help us make the people see that we are working for their own good. Help us explain that we take very strict precautions to protect ourselves so we don’t carry the virus to others or to our loved ones,” Estrella said.

He said that because of the news that Bacolod has it first COVID-positive patient, people are treating the hospital employees differently.

Some employees have been denied rides on trisikads or jeepneys simply because they are identified as working at RMCI, Estrella said,

Some were denied entry at small office shops, while others were verbally harassed by a policeman, he added.

And even worse, he said, was that some employees were asked to vacate the places they were renting because the landlord and their neighbors feared possible contamination.

They are literally being shunned in public, after all the sacrifices they make, including risking their lives in the fight against COVID-19, Estrella said.

“Despite the effort that we put forth and the sacrifices we make in not being with our families and risking our health, we are confronted with another battle as soon as our shift at the hospital ends. We now have to face discrimination coming from our own,” he said.

Diaz, in appealing to the public not to discriminate against the hospital workers, said, “We need to support each other in this time of crisis.”

This is not the way to treat these people at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, he said.

He assured that government will stand by the workers at the hospitals and health workers in the field.*


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