MANILA - There is an increase of COVID-19 admissions in hospitals in Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley and Central Visayas, a health official said Monday, adding that capacity of public and private medical facilities in these areas are still under "moderate-risk" level.
"Nakaaalarm kasi tumataas na rin ang active cases. Alam natin once tumaas ang active cases, tataas na rin ang rate of admission, and of course 'yung nangangailangan ng intensive care unit atsaka ventilators," treatment czar Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(It's alarming because active cases are rising, which we know will lead to higher rate of admission and the number of people needing intensive care and ventilators.)
The country's hospitals last year declared full capacity as coronavirus cases surged, prompting healthcare workers to appeal to government for a timeout.
The rise in cases might be due to the country's economy reopening, the public becoming "relaxed" in observing health protocols, and the entry of new coronavirus variants, Vega said.
"Itong pagsurge natin ngayon, may possibility talaga na pumapasok na ang variants. Kailangan i-maximize o enhance mo na talaga ang health standards," he said.
(It's possible the entry of new variants caused this surge. We need to maximize or enhance health standards.)
"Kung di natin ayusin to at di magbago ang ating behavior, mahihirapan, matatalo tayo sa transmission ng virus. Ito na ang race between vaccination and infection so kailangan natin matalo ang transmission."
(If we don't address this and change our behavior, we will find it difficult or we'll lose to virus transmission. This is the race between vaccination and infection so we need to defeat virus transmission.)
The treatment czar stressed the importance of biosurveillance and called on hospitals to implement again last year's protocols such as referring mild cases to isolation facilities.
"Kung nagrelax na tayo sa travel restriction, ang pinakaimportante talaga 'yung biosurveillance, lalo sa mga taong bumabalik sa probinsiya na may symptoms o direct contact sa positive cases para ma-isolate for the remaining 14 days," he said.
(If we relaxed our travel restrictions, biosurveillance is the most important especially to those returning to the provinces who have symptoms or direct contact with positive cases, so they can be isolated for 14 days.)
Government's ONE Hospital Command is ready to coordinate and assist virus patients who need admission, isolation, or testing, Vega said.
The health department is also ready to augment public and private hospital's human resources, he added.