Like in the Philippines, other countries like Germany are also looking for more people to man the frontlines in their fight against the Covid-19 outbreak.
In a report shared by state-run news agency, German Press Agency (DPA), Germany is flying in at least 75 Filipino nurses to help care for its novel coronavirus patients.
Germany to Send At Least 75 Filipino Nurses to Care for their Coronavirus Patients
In a statement shared by the Hessische Krankenhausgesellschaft, an association of over 150 hospitals in the federal state of Hesse, they are having a “recruitment flight” for intensive care personnel, as shared in a report by Rappler.
Christian Höftberger, the association’s president told the DPA on Friday, March 20, that they have received a special permit to bring 75 Filipino nurses to Hesse.
He added, “We are very confident that they can land in Frankfurt in the next few days.”
The Philippine government has enforced a lockdown in the entire island of Luzon from March 17 until April 12. However, the government has allowed Filipino workers to leave for their work abroad during this period.
Also, last Friday (March 20), Manila imposed a travel ban on all foreigners entering the Philippines. However, it remains unclear as to how this ban will affect Germany’s plan unless they intend to simply dispatch a plane and will not send any of its nationals to fetch the nurses outside the airport.
According to the report, the Filipino nurses to be brought in to Germany will be working at the Asklepios clinics. But Höftberger also shared “there are other Filipino intensive care nurses on the same plane” and that two other large clinics hired nurses.
As of Friday, Germany recorded almost 14,000 Covid-19 cases according to its official heath reporting organization, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
The report also noted that the strategic hiring was done through the efforts of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the crisis team of the Hessian state government, and employment agencies.
It added that “Maas even campaigned for the visas to be sent by messenger from the embassy to the employees, despite the exit restrictions imposed there” [in the Philippines].
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ Department of Health admitted that the health care system is “challenged” by the growing demand for novel coronavirus testing.
There are shortages in medical personnel as well as supplies particularly of personal protective equipment, prompting staff to either improvise or ask for donations.
For decades, Filipino nurses have also opted to work abroad due to low wages and poor working conditions in the country.
As of Saturday, March 21, the Philippines has recorded 307 coronavirus cases, with 19 deaths.
According to experts from the DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO), the cases could peak to as many as 75,000 in the next 3 months, or by June, if not properly contained.
Though only an estimate, the projection maintains that the spread of the virus could reach by the thousands [at its peak] if no proper interventions are set in place or enforced.