MORE than 40 medical societies in the country, led by the Philippine Medical Association, called on the government to go back to a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, as cases of Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) continue to rise.
In an open letter, Dr.Jose Santiago, PMA President, has asked President Rodrigo Duterte, National Task Force Covid-19 Chief Implementor Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. , and Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd to put Mega Manila Manila back into more stringent lockdown measures so that medical frontliners can recalibrate their strategies against the virus.
“We have witnessed a consistent rise in the number of infections, among other scenarios, for us to act now and act fast,” Santiago said.
Santiago said key government hospitals like the Ospital ng Maynila and the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital closed due to the increased number of infected frontline medical workers and the overwhelming number of admissions.
Santiago added that healthcare workers were burned out.
“We are waging a losing battle against Covid-19 and we need to draw up a consolidated plan of action.” Santiago said.
The PMA said the ECQ from August 1 to 15 would be used as a “timeout” to rethink pandemic control strategies such as hospital workforce and efficiency, case finding and isolation, contact tracing and quarantine, transportation safety, workplace safety, public compliance with self-protection and social amelioration.
“We understand that imposing an ECQ is a complex decision… but let us remember that we need healthy people to reinvigorate our economy.” Santiago said.
Dr. Maria Encarnita Limpin, vice president of the Philippine College of Physicians, said that if the case numbers of Covid-19 continued to rise, the hospital system, which she described as the “last line of defense” in the fight against the pandemic, will fail.