There are only five days left in the modified enhanced community quarantine implemented by the government in Metro Manila and 4 neighboring provinces but doctors are united not to loosen lockdown restrictions first because the number of COVID-19 patients is still high.
“The last time noong nag-ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), hindi naman siya ECQ. Hindi gaya ng ECQ like one year ago, nag-ECQ, walang katao-katao sa daanan. ‘Yong nag-ECQ tayo a month ago, useless,” said Dr. Juliano Zacarias Panganiban, chair of the COVID-19 task force at the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center.
“Mas maganda po sana kung puwedeng ma-extend nang isang linggo o dalawang linggo, ‘yon po para… mas mabawasan pa po ‘yong mga naka-admit dahil hanggang ngayon, puno pa rin ang aming [emergency room], puno ang [intensive care unit], marami pong hindi makapasok,” said Dr. Jonas del Rosario, spokesman of the COVID-19 referral center Philippine General Hospital.
At the end of March, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were subjected to strict ECQ due to a surge of COVID-19 cases, which caused hospitals to overflow. Beginning April 12, it was downgraded to the more loosely modified enhanced community quarantine, which is effective until April 30.
However, some hospitals have acknowledged that there has been some improvement in the situation.
Don’t ease quarantine restrictions in NCR Plus: doctors
“Last week, ‘yong admissions namin, umaabot po ng 132, 128, 126. ‘Yong census po kagabi, we have 109 admissions lang po. So medyo may improvement po. Bumaba po. Medyo nabawasan ng kaunti,” said San Lazaro Hospital Spokesperson Dr. Ferdinand de Guzman.
“Hindi na po kasing haba noong dati pero punuan po ang ospital. At least ngayon, mayroon kaming magagawa doon sa mga nasa emergency room,” said Lung Center of the Philippines Spokesperson Dr. Norberto Francisco.
“Medyo bumababa po at sana tumuloy-tuloy,” said Del Rosario.
According to Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, who is also the treatment czar, the health care utilization rate has gradually stabilized over the past week.
Its rate is now 71 to 73 percent from the previous 78 to 80 percent.
There were more than 9,000 daily average cases in the past week but that has also dropped from the previous nearly 11,000, according to the Department of Health.
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