By Priam Nepomuceno

(File photo courtesy of OCD)

MANILA – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said the Philippine Emergency Medical Assistance Team (PEMAT), which is part of the 82-man Philippine Inter-Agency Humanitarian Contingent (PIAHC), has so far served and treated 938 Turkish patients as of Thursday (local time).

“The PEMAT started its operations at 0900H 23 February 2023. The PEMAT catered to ambulatory cases and referral of cases requiring hospitalization,” the OCD said in a statement on Friday.

The patients catered to by the PEMAT are as follows:

–Feb. 11 – 14 patients

–Feb. 12 – 41 patients

–Feb. 13 – 60 patients

–Feb. 14 – 53 patients

–Feb. 15 – 88 patients

–Feb. 16 – 97 patients

–Feb. 17 – 105 patients

–Feb. 18 – 81 patients

–Feb. 19 – 64 patients

–Feb. 20 – 65 patients

–Feb. 21 – 82 patients

–Feb. 22 – 103 patients

–Feb. 23 – 85 patients

It added that PEMAT’s last day of operation will be on Friday.

“DOH (Department of Health) continues to provide medical assistance to the Philippine contingent, ensuring the welfare of the team with standby doctors and nurses. The base of operations/base camp is also managed with the leadership of the DOH, with the assistance of AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the Turkish military,” OCD said.

Meanwhile, PIAHC’s urban search and rescue (USAR) team is currently placed on standby pending requests for assistance on retrieval operations from the Turkish Local Emergency Management Authorities.

“The USAR team conducted a lecture regarding hypothermia, cold injury, and crush syndrome management at around 1400H (2 p.m. Turkish time February 23),” the OCD said.

Also, the agency said that PIAHC’s USAR team has so far retrieved six dead victims buried in the rubble.

“ERRATUM: The USAR team was able to retrieve six dead victims buried in the rubble for the whole duration of their search and retrieval operations. Details of which are as follows: 13 February 2023: Two dead victims 14 February 2023: Four dead victims Total: Six dead victims,” it added.

The Philippine USAR team has also assessed 36 buildings in Adiyaman which is their area of operations. The Philippine contingent is scheduled to return home by March 1.

“The team will (be) back in the Philippines not later than March 1, 2023,” Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV, OCD spokesperson, earlier said.
Alejandro earlier said Ankara will no longer accept a second contingent from Manila to help in operations in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked the country last February as chances of finding live survivors are growing unlikely as days go by.

The Turkish government, however, said the Philippines can send or donate non-food items, he added. (PNA)