MANILA - Most emergency rooms in pandemic-hit areas are still full as the number of new COVID-19 cases remains high in the Greater Manila area, an officer of a doctors' group said Sunday.
Government must enforce "long-term" programs such as digitalizing its contact-tracing, testing all people exposed to virus patients, and improving its referral of COVID-19 cases, said Dr. Maricar Limpin, vice president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).
"Marami kaming nakikita na severe na o critical. It’s frustrating sa amin kasi by the time na makita namin, malalang-malala na ang mga kababayan natin," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(We see a lot of patients become severe or critical. It's frustrating for us because by the time we see them, they're in the worst condition already.)
Health workers may only feel the impact of the stricter community quarantines in 2 to 3 weeks, Limpin said.
"Kinakaya na lang talaga namin, ang mga emergency department namin ay talagang punong-puno. Hindi lang punong-puno, it is about 200-percent capacity ang aming mga emergency department."
(We just push through it. Our emergency department is really full. Not just full, it's at about 200-percent capacity.)
Limpin urged local governments to centralize their data as contact-tracing using filled-up forms has been ineffective.
"Iimprove ang contact-tracing natin atsaka sana po kung kunyari QR code magkasundo na ho sila. 'Wag na ho mano-mano na contact tracing form na finifillupan natin. Wala hong nangyayari sa kanya. Itapon na natin kasi alam na natin na hindi effective," she said.
(Let's improve our contact-tracing, and they should agree on one thing, for example, if it's QR code. Let's not do manual contact tracing because nothing happens. Let's throw it away because we know it's not effective.)
She also urged local officials to bring COVID-19 assistance to residents instead of the other way around.
"I think there should be a better way of distributing itong mga ayuda na ito. Pwede siguro naman na 'yung government employees ang pumunta sa mga tao kesa ang mga tao pa ang pupunta sa kanila," she said.
(I think there should be a better way of distributing this aid. I think government employees can go to the people instead of residents going to them.)
The Philippines on Saturday reported 11,101 more COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 926,052. Of this figure, 203,710 are active infections.
It was forecast to breach the 1 million mark by the end of the month, the OCTA Research Group earlier said.