Seniors told to stay at home amid increase in critical COVID cases

The government has appealed to senior citizens and other vulnerable members of the population to stay at home after the country's critical cases of coronavirus have increased.


Presidential spokesman Harry Roque sought the health precaution for the elderly, the young, and those with health conditions after authorities reported the country’s critical cases have breached the three percent mark.

Of the 58,127 active cases of coronavirus, Roque said at least 86.5 percent of the cases are mild, 9.2 percent asymptomatic, three percent critical, and 1.3 percent severe as of Sept. 23.

"Medyo tumataas ang critical. 'Yung mga seniors, yung mga kabataan, yung mga mayroon may sakit, buntis, kinakailangan manatili po tayo sa atini mga tahanan. At lalong lalo na mga seniors na talagang seniors tinataaman ng COVID-19, at sila po ang lumulubha (The critical cases have slightly increased. To the seniors, the young, those with illness, pregnant women, we must stay at home, most especially the seniors. The seniors are vulnerable to COVID-19 and they may become critical)," Roque said during a televised press briefing.

Except for Metro Manila and a few areas, the country is largely under the relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

In all community quarantine levels, any person below 21-years-old and above 60-years-old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women are required to remain in their residences at all times. Exempted from the stay-at-home rule are those "obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices."

Also in the virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said the health authorities are now looking into country's critical cases, which increased by two percentage points early this week.

Vega, the government’s COVID treatment czar, admitted they are surprised by the increase in critical cases but are not alarmed due to the adequate healthcare system.

"It started from 3.1 percent, now it's three percent. We are validating the intensive care units, critical units," Vega said.

In Metro Manila, Vega assured that the hospital care capacity remains sufficient and has not yet been strained. "We're trying to find out the reason why the critical cases increased... We will try to make sure our health system is capable of any kind of surge," he said.