Healthcare system should be at low risk before NCR Plus shifts to GCQ — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Healthcare utilization rate (HCUR) should be lower than 50 percent for the government to consider placing the NCR Plus under general community quarantine (GCQ), the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the healthcare capacity should be at low risk before the NCR Plus, which covers Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan, can be placed under a less stringent quarantine status. MECQ in the so-called bubble will end on May 14.
“We have parameters. Pag sinabi natin na healthcare system capacity, kailangan tayo ay nasa low risk para tayo ay GCQ. Ibig sabihin ang healthcare utilization dapat nandoon lang sa mga less than 50 percent para masabi na we have a low risk for healthcare capacity,” she said when asked about the HCUR that should be reached for a GCQ shift in the NCR Plus.
(We have parameters. When we talk about healthcare system capacity, we need to be at low risk to be placed under GCQ. This means the healthcare utilization rate should only be less than 50 percent for us to say we are at low risk for healthcare capacity.)
Based on the case bulletin of the DOH on Sunday, there is 64-percent utilization of ICU beds, 45 percent in isolation beds, and 51 percent inward beds, and 43 percent for ventilators on the nationwide scale.
In Metro Manila, there is 70-percent utilization for ICU beds, 50 percent for isolation beds, 62 percent for ward beds, and 54 percent for ventilators.
But aside from healthcare utilization, Vergeire said the government also considers the average daily attack rate (ADAR) and two-week growth rate in downgrading the quarantine status.
“When we talk about naman sa mga kaso, meron tayong sinasabi na average daily attack rate. Kailangan ito ay seven or less para masabi natin na low risk tayo, and for the two week growth rate, kailangan makita natin na meron tayong negative growth or less than nung sinasabi na natin from the previous 3 to 4 weeks,” she said.
(When we talk about cases, we have what we call average daily attack rate. This should be seven or less so we can say we are at low risk, and for the two-week growth rate, we should see negative growth or less than what we saw from the previous three to four weeks.)
ADAR is the average number of new cases per day over a two-week period, divided by the population of a concerned area. The DOH computes the ADAR based on a 100,000 population. The higher the ADAR, the higher the risk for getting infected.
On top of these factors, Vergeire also said that targets for “gatekeeping indicators” on the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy should be met by local government units (LGUs) for a lower quarantine status.
She said LGUs should be able to reach the targets for these indicators so that COVID-19 infections can still be managed in case there will be another surge.
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