The Department of Health (DOH) said Monday it is not considering a time out for health workers at this point to address the rising COVID-19 cases.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country’s healthcare utilization remained at “manageable level” even as she admitted that there was a recent increase in the number of hospital visits in relation to COVID-19.
“When we went around nakita natin dumadami po talaga ang mga tao sa ER (emergency room), ang may mga sintomas ng COVID. Pero to say that the system is overwhelmed? No,” she said in an online briefing.
“Pag tinignan po natin ang healthcare utilization we’re still at the manageable level na mayroon pa po tayong almost 50% na puwede ma-accommodate ang ating mga pasyente.”
She said the DOH’s current recommendation is to intensify preventive measures against COVID-19 in the communities.
“Of course, the government is there and very much monitoring kung kailangan talaga ng time out,” she said.
“[Kung] dadating tayo doon sa punto na kakailanganing makahinga ang ating sistema ay iyan naman ay irerekomenda pero sa ngayon hindi pa po natin nakikita yung pangangailangan dahil mino-mobilize natin ang local governments to their localized responses.”
Earlier in the day, Philippine General Hospital spokesperson Dr. Jonas del Rosario said there is no need yet for a time out for medical frontliners.
Last August, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces under stricter lockdown for two weeks following pleas from the medical community for a time out amid rising COVID-19 cases being admitted then to hospitals and a recalibration of strategies to combat the virus.
The country reported 594,412 COVID-19 cases, with 12,516 deaths as of Sunday. — RSJ, GMA News