The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) has urged the government to maintain the quarantine restrictions imposed over Metro Manila as the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases remains high.
PCP President Dr. Maricar Limpin said the number of infected patients seeking medical attention has been “slightly increasing” recently, with some patients have to wait for their turn in order to be admitted.
“Para sa amin, sana ay medyo magisip-isip muna ang ating gobyerno na tingnan muna kung pupwedeng i-maintain muna kung ano meron tayo (For us, I hope our government will think a little bit first to see if we can maintain what we have right now),” Limpin said in an interview over TeleRadyo on Friday, June 11.
“Lately, napapansin namin yung dating mas kumunti eh medyo parang dumadami na naman (we’ve noticed that the ones that used to have a decrease in cases seem to be increasing again),” she added.
At the Philippine Heart Center, where Limpin is affiliated, she said that the hospital’s bed capacity in its intensive care unit (ICU) is slowly reaching its limit, as well as in its other facilities for COVID-19 patients.
“I can really say this dahil maski dito sa ospital kung saan ako affiliated, yung ICU namin napuno na naman tapos yung regular COVID wards namin puno rin (because even here in the hospital where I am affiliated, our ICU is full again and our regular COVID wards are also full),” she said.
“May hintayan na naman bago namin pwedeng ma-admit ang mga pasyente. Ibig sabhin, medyo tumataas (There is now a waiting time before we can admit patients. This means that cases are slightly increasing),” she added.
Moreover, the physician pointed out that the increase in the number of daily infections is not just felt in the Visayas and in Mindanao but in Metro Manila as well.
“‘Wag nating hintayin na bumalik ulit tayo doon sa Marso wherein magtatawag na naman ang gobyerno natin ng total lockdown. I hope na i-maintain na lang muna siguro natin ngayon (Let’s not wait for us to return to what happened in March where the government called for a total lockdown again. I hope we can just maintain it right now),” Limpin said.
“Anyway, nakakalabas naman ang mga tao (people are allowed to go out). I don’t think we need to be in a hurry sa paglo-loosen up ng ating (in loosening up our) quarantine measures),” she added.
Tighten travel protocols, contact tracing
The health professional has also urged the government to recalibrate its domestic travel protocols in a bid to curb the spread of infections in the provinces.
“Siguro kailangan tingnan din yung papaano natin masisiguro na yung travel will actually be safer para doon sa mga pupuntahan natin (Maybe we also need to look at how we can make sure that travel will actually be safer),” she said.
Limpin also suggested to further ramp up the government’s contact tracing efforts to quickly arrest the spread of the virus, and isolate those who were infected.
“Okay tayo na i-maintain lang muna natin ngayon yung whatever we are doing right now (It’s ok for us to just maintain whatever we are doing right now),” she said.
“Sana higpitan pa natin yung contact tracing at saka a little bit more restriction doon sa travel within the country kasi yan ang nagiging dahilan kung bakit tumataas din ang COVID sa ating mga probinsiya (I hope we tighten the contact tracing and then a little bit more restriction on travel within the country because that is the reason why COVID is also increasing in the provinces),” she added.