The current spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country is "becoming serious" as the number of patients being admitted in hospitals is increasing, an official of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) said on Wednesday, March 17.
"It is becoming serious because the hospitals are being congested: the emergency room, the hospital beds--all covid, and we are also catering to non-covid cases. A lot of the healthcare workers are also getting sick. Of course we are quite worried that we might not be able to sustain what we are doing right now," said PCP Vice President Dr. Maricar Limpin in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
However, Limpin said that healthcare workers are now more prepared in responding to the pandemic as compared last year.
"We are trying our best. We are giving everything that we can. At least, we know for us healthcare workers, we are very prepared, we know what we are going to do now unlike last year we don't know anything, but now we know already---what we give to our patients and how to take care of the patients. Now the only problem would be the number of patients that will be coming in," she said.
Limpin expressed hope that the country will be able to contain this increase in COVID-19 cases as soon as possible.
"I hope we don't reach that 8,000 in a day or that 20,000 by April. That will be too much for the health system. If that happens then definitely, the health system will be going to back down," she said.
Limpin reminded the public that COVID-19 is not "really an easy disease to deal with."
"There are so many things that are still unknown. It's just good that we are already prepared. By this time, we already know something but there is still a lot to know about COVID-19 and I hope each and everyone of us will realize the importance of making sure that all of us, individual Filipinos, adhere to the minimum health protocols," she said.
"We cannot beat Covid unless all of us will help together. Adhere to the minimum health protocols. Make sure that we maintain our physical distance because if we don't do this --- then definitely we will lose in this battle," she said.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said that the healthcare utilization rate in the country is still at "low risk."
However, the healthcare utilization rate in the National Capital Region is now at "moderate risk."
"So ito yung tinitingnan. Although may konting capacity pa tayo pero dapat pag ingatan po natin dahil baka lumagpas po sa ating utilization rate at dito tayo mahirapan (So this is what we are looking at. Although we still have more capacity but we must be careful because it may exceed our utilization rate and if it does, it will be hard for us)," Vega said in an interview with radio DZBB on Wednesday, March 17.
As of this writing, the Philippines' total number of confirmed cases stands at 631,320, including 560,736 recoveries and 12,848 deaths.