Doctors want Bicol placed under MECQ, as COVID-19 cases spike


Posted at Jun 16 2021 08:55 AM

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MANILA—Medical experts in Bicol are appealing to the government pandemic task force to place the region under stricter quarantine measure due to increasing COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Carlsen Antonio, president of Albay Medical Society, said Wednesday his group sent a letter to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to upgrade the region's lockdown level to modified enhanced community quarantine.

"We were calling an escalation of the current level of quarantine to a higher level . . . We felt ECQ will be too harsh for the economy and for the people," he told Teleradyo. "Upon re-deliberation, like what was imposed in Naga City two nights ago by IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force), modified ECQ is the best compromise."

The region, except for Naga, is under modified general community quarantine, the loosest of 4 lockdown levels.

Antonio said doctors there felt a surge in coronavirus patients in private and public hospitals. As many as 20 people would have to wait in tents before getting admitted.

Bicol doctors are also calling for a continued vaccination program and additional quarantine facilities for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients. They also appealed to authorities for continued implementation of health protocols in commercial establishments and sustained police visibility.

As of June 14, Bicol has logged more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases, of which 488 have died from the disease. The region currently has more than 5,000 active cases or patients deemed infectious.