MANILA - A group of doctors on Monday urged government to defer the easing of quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila as they said intensive care units remain full.
Metro Manila and nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, or the NCR Plus, may shift to a looser general community quarantine status (GCQ) this week as COVID-19 figures in the area improve, Malacañang earlier said.
It would be better for the capital region to maintain its GCQ with heightened restrictions instead of reverting to a total lockdown when cases again surge, said Dr. Maricar Limpin, president of the Philippine College of Physicians.
"Sa ngayon although mas kaunti siya kumpara sa mga kaso nung March o April, medyo madami-dami pa rin po ang mga pasyente nating nakikita lalo na sa ICU...Medyo marami kaming nakikitang severe to critical. We would expect ito po ay magtutuloy pa," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Although the number of COVID-19 cases are low versus those in March or April, there are still many patients in the ICU. We see many who are suffering from severe to critical cases. We would expect this to continue.)
"Kailangan siguro maghinay-hinay muna tayo, 'wag muna luwagan ang quarantine measure kasi mas mahirap po bumalik sa total lockdown."
(We need to slow down, let's not ease the quarantine measure just yet because it's harder to return to total lockdown.)
Limpin also urged government to send assistance to provinces facing a surge of COVID-19 cases and to tighten local governments' borders.
"Ang kanilang ICU capacity napupuno na rin ho. Sila po ay humihingi na ng tulong sa'min," she said.
(Their ICU capacity is also getting full. They're seeking help from us.)
The Philippines on Sunday tallied 7,302 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing its total to 1,315,639. Of this figure, some 59,865 were active infections while 22,788 were fatalities.