‘No direct solutions’ to rising COVID-19 cases except vaccines — Densing
MANILA, Philippines — The continued rising COVID-19 cases was a problem unforeseen and had “no direct solutions right now except the vaccines,” an official from the Department of Interior and Local Government said Monday.
“This is a problem which we cannot anticipate. We do not know how the problem will move. We have no direct solutions right now except the vaccines. People need to be part of the solution by practicing minimum health standards,” Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said in a televised interview with ABS CBN New Channel.
The Philippines was not the only country facing this problem of renewed surges, Densing said, as other countries like France are imposing new lockdowns.
“Nobody expected this, including other countries. We are not alone in this kind of surge. France is already on their third or fourth lockdown,” he said.
But he said this was not a reason to feel better.
“It’s important that we act right away. Right now what we did are immediate, fast and reactive responses,” he said.
Densing said the Philippine government did not foresee that the recent spike of COVID-19 cases would beat the records from last year.
The country has reported record-high cases in recent days since the pandemic started in 2020. Active cases are currently at 135,526.
As a result, COVID-19 patients have swamped hospitals and most are running at critical capacity. A new lockdown was imposed to address the record-high new cases.
Densing said the healthcare system was strong in January “until the second surge came in the first week of March.”
“We never expected that the surge will be more than that of last year…Health care system was already that strong as early as January,” he said.
“The preparation of the healthcare system was strong because we expected vacation or holiday surge, and even Traslacion but it did not happen. The system was strong until the second surge came in the first week of March but it was more than what was expected last year,” he added.
Densing was convinced that the government was doing a successful job last year in handling the pandemic compared to other countries.
“I consider that we did better if we compare our response from other countries. The fact that numbers went down continuously after August last year, I think we were fairly successful,” he said.
“In January of this year, infections in the National Capital Region was only 314 until the second surge which made NCR infections 10 times more in early March,” he added.
The Philippine government is currently increasing the capacity of local government units for contact tracing, as well as hospital capacities, as it extended the enhanced community quarantine, Densing said.
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