Medical expert urges gov’t to intensify health measures

The government should intensify its measures in combatting the  novel coronavirus disease-2019 before deciding to return Metro Manila and nearby provinces back to general community quarantine (GCQ), a medical expert said Monday.


“Just intensify all the control measures that we can do,” said Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) president Dr. Mario Panaligan during an interview over CNN Philippines.

Panaligan said these include the the strict enforcement in the barangays of health measures.

“Every measure should be strictly enforced in the different barangays,” he said.

“The physical distancing measures aside of course from the mandatory face shields, these can definitely help in terms of controlling the spread and of course decreasing the number of COVID-19,” he added.

The doctor said the government needs  to “intensify case detection methods and contact tracing.”

He added there is also a need to improve referral systems for COVID-19 patients to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by cases.

“We just have to intensify it making sure that the referral network really functions well so that all those individuals who need to be transferred to other institutions can be done immediately,” he said.

President Duterte placed Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Batangas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in response to calls for a time out from the medical community due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Panaligan said hospitals in MECQ areas are not yet ready to divert beck to GCQ “primarily because we’re still seeing many patients who are consulting the hospitals.”

“When we called for a timeout it was a necessary time for all of us to talk and discuss of course the different proposals that we can implement so that we can control the increasing number of COVID-19 cases,” he said.

Panaligan noted that the government has implemented a number of proposals made by the medical community including the one hospital command center and the healthcare augmentation and management system.

The doctor admitted that number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals have become manageable primarily because there is the referral network that the one hospital command is doing.