The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) has urged the government to heed the appeals of medical professionals to maintain the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
PCP Vice President Dr. Maricar Limpin said it is “too early” to ease the restrictions imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR) and its adjacent provinces.
“Of course, we pray that government, particularly the top leaders of the country, will heed the call of the health professionals that it is really not time yet to immediately lift the MECQ that we have,” Limpin said in a CNN Philippines interview Monday, April 26.
“In fact we are still quite worried that the lifting of the restrictions from ECQ to MECQ might have an effect, and these we will be able to feel maybe at around second week of May,” she added.
The doctor’s group official warned that the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) might increase again in the next few week if the restrictions would be lifted after the end of April.
Limpin pointed out that hospitals are still struggling to cope with the high number of patients seeking help, saying that medical facilities are still in their full capacity.
“In the hospitals, most of the ones in Metro Manila, particularly whether private or government, all the beds are still filled up, even the emergency room its more than filled up,” she said.
The group official said they are still seeing about 150 to 200 percent bed capacity at emergency rooms (ER) in the NCR.
“Meaning to say that we have already been taking care of COVID-19 patients even at the ER,” Limpin said.
“They are being intubated and they are being managed there for many days before they will be able to be brought to the COVID wards, whether ICU or regular wards,” she added.
With experts and health officials saying that there was a downward trend in the number of new cases in recent weeks, the PCP official said they have not yet felt such improvement as the number of cases daily is still very high.
“This did not make a dent as far as the number of people that are being seen in the hospitals. It is still too early to lift the restrictions that we have right now,” Limpin said.