Malacañang said Monday NCR could return to “stricter” community quarantine if hospitals get overwhelmed by the spike of COVID-19 cases in the capital region.
“We go back to stricter quarantine or provide more facilities,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online media forum when asked about the government’s possible response in case hospitals would reach its maximum capacity.
The government placed Metro Manila under the general community quarantine since June, which allowed public transport and businesses to resume operations to jumpstart the country’s economy.
The Department of Health (DOH) said that it would meet with hospital representatives on Monday to monitor the situation in their own facilities.
According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, government hospitals are not yet overwhelmed with new virus cases. However, she clarified that critical care resources are at “moderate risk level.”
DOH data as of June 30 showed Metro Manila’s critical care, and isolation bed utilization was at 62.18%, while the doubling time for COVID-19 cases was 8.19 days.
Vergeire also said Monday the Department of Health (DOH) is strictly monitoring six “hotspots” where there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
According to Vergeire, the said hotspots include Cebu City, Cebu province, cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu in Cebu, Quezon City, and the City of Manila.
Spike in cases’ somehow’ due to eased restrictions
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the recent spike in COVID-10 cases in the Philippines could be related to the eased community quarantine restrictions.
“Somehow, ito ang resulta ng pag-open up natin, pag-downgrade ng classification, pagbubukas ng ibang business sectors na kailangan naman,” he said in an interview on CNN-Philippines.
(Somehow, this is the result of downgrading the classification and reopening of business sectors which is needed.)
Año said the increase or decrease of COVID-19 cases still depends on the public’s compliance with the safety and health protocols being implemented amid the pandemic.
“In the coming days, because of our intention to open up the economy, it will really boil down to the individual persons on how they will adhere, comply, obey, with the minimum health standards,” he said.
“We can say na we are ready, but the people must cooperate,” he said.
As of this posting, the Philippines recorded 44,254 COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 11,942 recovered, while 1,297 died.
Experts from the University of the Philippines earlier projected that the coronavirus cases in the country would reach 61,000 to 95,000 by the end of August.