Nine doctors die from coronavirus in Philippines

MANILA (AFP) – Nine doctors have died in the Philippines from the coronavirus, the country’s top medical association said yesterday, as hospitals were overwhelmed and medics complained about a lack of protection on the front lines.

The announcement of the doctors’ deaths heightened fears that the scale of the health crisis in the Philippines is much worse than is being officially reported, with the confirmed virus death toll at just 38.

The main island of Luzon, home to 55 million people, is in the second week of a lockdown to contain the spread of the disease, however medics are warning there is a surge in cases.

The Philippine Medical Association said yesterday a ninth doctor had died of the virus, and that health workers were not getting enough protection.

“If it were up to me, test the frontliners first and test them again after seven days. Doctors could be carriers themselves,” Benito Atienza, Vice President of the Philippine Medical Association told AFP.