Expert cautions gov't against easing COVID-19 restrictions

Published October 10, 2021, 11:12 AM

by Analou de Vera

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Despite the downward trend of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, an infectious disease expert urged the government to be cautious on easing restrictions.

San Lazaro Hospital’s Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Unit head Dr. Rontgene Solante made the statement as some hospitals still have high utilization of their intensive care units (ICU).

“Ang ICU hindi nagbabago, puno pa rin. Kasi ang nangyayari ngayon, ang mga naa admit…medyo malala na yung kondisyon—yung mga tinatawag natin na severe or critical (The situation in ICUs remain the same, they are still full. What’s happening right now, those who are admitted.. their conditions are severe or critical),” said Solante in an interview over DZBB radio on Sunday, Oct. 10.

“Tapos may mga healthcare workers na natatamaan, ibig sabihin nagkakasakit (Then, there are healthcare workers who are also getting sick),” he added.

Solante said there should be no room for complacency at this point.

“Ang government pag medyo nakikita na bumababa ang kaso, ayun yung trigger na bababaan nila yung alert level—yung hospital utilization isa iyan sa mga criteria natin. Ang ano ko dito, we should not be complacent (When the government sees that the cases are going down, that’s the trigger for them to lower the alert level. The hospital utilization is one of our criteria. What I’m saying here is, we shouldn’t be complacent),” he said.

“Kung makita natin na medyo bumababa ang kaso, it does not mean na okay na tayo. Maski sabihin mo pa na bumaba iyan—ang pagbaba lang is 20 to 30 percent (If we see that the cases are going down, it doesn’t mean we’re okay. Even if you say it’s going down — the decrease in cases is only 20 to 30 percent),” he added.

Solante said that mass gatherings should still be avoided to prevent the increase in cases.

“Ang pangamba ko lang dito yung mga gathertings. Kasi sa mga nakita natin na previous surge of cases, ang taas talaga ng risk ng mga gatherings (My only fear here is the gatherings. During the previous surge of cases, the gatherings really are high risk activities),” he said.

“At alam naman natin pag mga ganyang panahon—kapag niluluwagan— nagiging complacent din ang mga tao—-hindi na nagsusuot ng face mask, face shield, at nag gagathering (And we know that when that we relaxed restrictions — people also become complacent —- they no longer wear face masks, face shields, and they gather),” he added.

On Oct.7, the Department of Health (DOH) officially confirmed that COVID-19 cases in the Philippines were already on a downward trend.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire assured on Saturday, Oct. 9, that the government is carefully assessing the COVID-19 situation.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["national","news","news"]
[2834308,2915604,2915591,2915607,2915588,2915569,2915580]