209 new local COVID-19 disease cases on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday, April 18, 2020, announced 209 new local cases of the COVID-19 disease, bringing the total to 6,087 from yesterday’s count of 5,878. The health department has tallied 516 recoveries and 397 deaths with most fatalities belonging to the age group 50 years old and above.

To augment its manpower against the COVID-19 outbreak, the DOH is seeking for healthcare professionals. Qualified personnel will be entitled to a monthly salary compensation with 20% premium based on the basic salary, regardless of the number of quarantine days per month; protective personal equipment (PPEs); board and lodging while on duty or on quarantine; psychosocial support, as needed; Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units, which may be granted through Health Human Resource Development Bureau (HHRDB) certification; medico-legal assistance; and preferential evaluation for DOH vacancies, depending on qualifications. Priority will be given to those who signed up as volunteers for the COVID-19 response in DOH sites.

Additionally, the health personnel will receive hazard pay of Php500/day whether on duty or under required quarantine; GSIS group insurance (one time premium of Php 500); benefits under the Bayanihan We Heal As One Act such as PhilHealth hospitalization benefits, Php 100,000 in case of infirmity due to COVID-19 and Php 1,000,000 in case of death; and a communication and transportation allowance of Php 1,000/month.

Public health workers, who are exposed to health risk in the light of the pandemic, are also eligible to receive a one-time special risk allowance of up to 25% of their monthly basic pay, subject to the provisions of Administrative Order 28 released on April 6.

According to the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 global tracker, over 2.2 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 154,694 deaths and 575,044 recovered cases have been recorded.