By Jerome Carlo Paunan
As NCR prepares for ECQ, next few weeks crucial in mitigating COVID case spike
MANILA — “Let us always remember, we are not defenseless, we have learned a lot, and we have the tools to fight this disease.”
This was emphasized by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergiere, saying the next few weeks will be crucial in mitigating “possibilities of severe increase in the number of [COVID-19] cases.”
Metro Manila will shift to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest status, on Aug. 6 to 20, due to the threat of rising COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant.
Part of the government’s preparedness measures, Vergeire said, is to ready local governments and health facilities for a surge in infections that may be fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.
She said the Department of Health’s One Hospital Command Center had been directed to stockpile essential COVID-19 medicines and supplies, including personal protective equipment, testing reagents, and other medical supplies, good for the next month at least.
The command center was also tasked with the triaging of patients contacting the referral center and coordinating the transfer of mild COVID-19 patients to Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities.
Such steps, Vergeire said, have proven critical following the last surge seen in Metro Manila around late March to April 2021.
During this period, hundreds of COVID-19 positive patients ended up on emergency department waitlists of packed hospitals.
“Trends say the same thing, cases are rising… We need to act now, both as individuals and as a community,” Vergeire said.
Also part of the preparations, the official said the DOH had also ensured local oxygen plants were notified of the possible need to produce twice their monthly production to cope with the necessary treatment of patients.
Vergeire, meanwhile reiterated her appeal to the public to continue keeping their guard up against the virus and observing minimum health standards like wearing masks and practicing physical distancing to lower the risk of getting infected. Philippine Information Agency