Maria Rosario Vergeire (Source: RTVM)

 

The Department of Health (DOH) insisted that the implementation of a community quarantine in the Philippines, or even in specific areas, should be based on science. 

“Ipinatutupad na community quarantine sa isang lugar, dapat nakabase sa siyensya,” Health Undersecretary Ma. Mario Rosario Vergeire said during an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

The health official was reacting to statements of experts from the OCTA research team, who opposes the premature demotion of community quarantines, particularly in Metro Manila even though the numbers of new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections are declining day by day. 

“Lahat ng indicators o aspeto, ikinukonsidera sa pagpapatupad ng community quarantine,” she clarified.

“Tinitingnan din natin ang dami ng kaso ng COVID sa isang lugar,” she said.

The UP OCTA research team revealed that the number of daily new Covid-19 infections have continuously decreased from 4,300 in early August to 2,900 in late September. 

The research team also projected that the Covid-19 infections in the country could increase to a minimum of 380,000 to a maximum of 410,000 by October 3.

“While the situation in the NCR has improved as the rate of transmission, the number of cases, as well as the positivity rate and the measure for hospital resource utilization are all on a downward trend, it has not yet achieved the crucial 28 days case doubling time requirement set by IATF to be classified into an MGCQ status,” the team said.

“Therefore, we recommend sustaining the current General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status for the NCR until it further improves its health indicators and qualifies for the MGCQ status,” it said.

However, Vergeire warned that while the transmission rate or r0 (r-naught) has been less than 1, meaning a low transmission rate, “hindi pa rin tayo dapat maging complacent.”

On top of the lower transmission rate, the utilization in hospitals and health facilities have also declined.

“Bumaba na po ang utilization, nasa less than 60% na po tayo ngayon, ibig sabihin, na-decongest natin ang ating mga facility,” Vergeire said.

“Noong bago ang MECQ punong-puno ang ating mga ospital pero ngayon nakahinga ang ating mga health workers at facilities,” she said. RJ Espartinez