Doctors' group warns of COVID-19 surge if NCR+ eases lockdown restrictions

Published June 14, 2021, 12:06 PM

by Gabriela Baron

A group of doctors warned of a surge in coronavirus cases (COVID-19) in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus if the region shifts to a more relaxed quarantine status.


Malacañang Spokesperson Harry Roque said that NCR may shift to an “ordinary” general community quarantine (GCQ) along with Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan after its present quarantine status lapses on June 15.

In an interview with CNN Philippines on Sunday night, June 13, Philippine College of Physicians President Dr. Maricar Limpin said some hospitals in the NCR Plus are seeing an increase in admission of severe to critical COVID-19 cases.

“Last week from around 50 percent [intensive care unit] capacity namin, nakakakita na kami nang unti-unting pagtaas, and in fact may hospitals ngayon na 100 percent ang ICU capacity. So ibig sabihin mas marami kaming nakikitang severe to critical COVID-19 at ang pangamba namin baka mapuno na naman ang mga ospital, lalong-lalo na ang mga ICU, especially pag nag-relax ulit yung community quarantine natin (Last week from around 50 percent ICU capacity, we are seeing a gradual increase in admissions again. In fact there are some hospitals with 100 percent of their ICU bed already occupied. That means we are seeing more severe to critical COVI-19 cases. We fear that our hospitals will reach full capacity again, especially the ICUs, when our community quarantine relaxes again),” Limpin added.

The physician also noted that the country’s vaccination rate is still low and the public “does not yet have enough protection against COVID-19.”

“Mas mahirap naman na bumalik pa tayo sa total lockdown, mas maganda na yung hinay-hinay lang tayo. Maintain muna natin yung kung anong community quarantine na meron tayo ngayon nang sa ganun it will not give a message sa mga tao na pwede na silang lumabas (It will be harder for us to go back to total lockdown, it’s better to be careful first. Let’s just maintain what kind of community quarantine we how now so it won’t give a message to people that they can now go out),” Limpin underscored.

OCTA Research Group said the COVID-19 cases in the NCR are on a downward trend.

The group said the daily average number of new cases in the region decreased by 17 percent on June 4 to 10.

On Sunday, the Department of Health said only two percent of 109 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far, three months after the national government started its inoculation program.