The Department of Health (DOH) launched Monday its “I’M IN!” tie a red ribbon campaign for medical workers, health caregivers, and other volunteers serving the frontlines against the pandemic spread of COVID-19.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, who wears a red ban on her right shoulder, said Wednesday in a live Facebook updated that the campaign is to show support to frontliners who continue to work despite the risks they are facing.

“Ito po ay isang senyales nang pag-suporta natin, lalung-lalo na po sa ating mga healthcare workers, lalung-lalo na doon sa ating mga namatay na doctor at doon sa lahat na sa ngayon ay patuloy pa rin na lumalaban at inaalagaan po ang ating mga pasyente sa lahat ng ospital dito sa Pilipinas,” she said.

“Ang puso namin at ang aming suporta ay nasa inyo at patuloy po namin kayong susuportahan. This red band — hinihikayat ko po lahat na magsuot nito para ipakita natin ang suporta natin sa kanilang lahat,” Vergeire added.

The DOH MIMAROPA, in a separate statement, said the red ribbons can also be tied on the gates of every household, cars, trees, and other visible areas to show support to the families of the 5 doctors who have already died due to COVID-19.

“At least 5 doctors have died already. Since we cannot reach their families to show our support, can we please start a ‘tie a red ribbon’ campaign for our frontliners? Red for love! Can we start now? Hoping for your support in our simple way of showing love for our frontliners. Thank you, mga kababayan,” the DOH said.

COVID-19 casualties

Among the five who have died due to COVID-19 were cardiologist and internist Dr. Raul Diaz Jara, who was also the president of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA); cardiologist Israel Bactol of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC); Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) anesthesiologist Gregorio Macasaet III, and San Juan de Dios Hospital (SJDDH) oncologist Rose Pulido.

On March 24, President Rodrigo Duterte said “public and private health workers shall receive a compensation of P100,000 each should they contract “severe” COVID-19 while in the line of duty”.

Medical workers who died while performing their duties to combat the spread of COVID-19 shall also be entitled to P1 million each.

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