Doctors warn: Fight COVID fatigue amid spate of new infections

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2021 09:59 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2021 10:07 AM

Doctors warn: Fight COVID fatigue amid spate of new infections 1
An attendant sprays alcohol on the hand of a bus passenger to help curb COVID-19 spread in Quezon City on March 5, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A doctors' group on Wednesday urged the public not to drop their guard as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Maricar Limpin, vice president of Philippine College of Physicians, called for strict compliance of 4 minimum health standards -- wear face mask and face shield, observe physical distancing, and ensure proper ventilation.

"Huwag po tayong magsasawa kasi 'pag tayo po ang magsawa, tayo po ang talo... We can't afford to have such a thing as COVID fatigue," she told ANC.

(We can't get tired of doing these because if we do so, we will lose...)

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While her group is not calling for a "time-out" or stricter quarantine measure to curb fresh COVID-19 cases, the PCP recommends reducing transportation capacity and implementing staggered working hours. 

Limpin, who works at the Philippine Heart Center, said the surge was becoming serious with hospitals being filled with patients.

"We're full. The ICU is full. The regular rooms are full. The emergency room is full. Nakapila 'yong mga pasyente. (Patients are lining up.) I am working in a government hospital so we can't really turn away our patients. So, we just have to accept them especially since most of our patients are with comorbidities," she said.

On Monday, the Philippines recorded over 4,437 coronavirus infections, the fifth straight day that daily cases exceeded 4,000.

Total cases have risen to 631,320, among Southeast Asia’s highest number of coronavirus tally. Death toll stood at 12,848.

Data from Department of Health as of March 15 also showed that 19 health facilities in Metro Manila were considered at "critical" level or more than 85 percent of capacity occupied. 

Some 96 hospitals in the capital region are still at "safe" level or less than 60 percent are occupied, 15 are "moderate" or 60 to 70 percent are occupied and 20 are "high risk" or 70 to 85 percent are occupied.