Is PH winning or losing vs coronavirus? DOH says fight far from over

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2020 11:15 PM

A second drive-thru testing center at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on July 18, 2020. The tests will be free to both Manila and non-Manila residents. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The fight against COVID-19 is far from over, a health official said Saturday, so it isn't yet time to say with certainty that the country is either winning or losing the so-called war against the pandemic.

"Wala namang certain sa ngayon. We all know that the situation is really evolving. Hindi rin natin masabi kung tayo ay nananalo na o hindi dahil sa tingin namin matagal pa ang laban natin," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

To date, the Philippines has logged more than 65,000 coronavirus infections, with 1,773 fatalities and 22,067 recoveries.

However, Vergeire stressed that government has brought COVID-19 under control to prevent the virus from inundating the country's health care system.

"Kahit sabihin natin na tumataas talaga ang kaso, hindi natin 'yan ikakaila, pero nandiyan na ang kapasidad ng ating health system para tayo ay makaagapay kung sakaling tayo'y magkakaroon ng tuloy-tuloy na pagtaas ng kaso," she said.

Official figures from the DOH showed that it takes 8 days for new COVID-19 infections to double while nearly 12 days for the number of fatalities to double.

"We have progressed na nako-control at nama-manage na natin actually," she said.

While Metro Manila had reached "danger zone" for coronavirus patients, the health official said the country was not yet stretched to its limits.

Nationwide, there are still more than half of the available intensive care unit (ICU) beds, isolation beds and ventilators. Some 42 percent of ward beds are also available, according to the DOH.

Vergeire also urged coronavirus patients to transfer to government isolation facilities if they are ill-equipped for home quarantine.

"Kung hindi makaka-comply do'n sa mga conditions for a safe home quarantine, kailangan po natin silang hikayatin na lumipat nalang dito sa temporary treatment and monitoring facilities natin," she said.

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