WHO: PH health care system could manage COVID surge until Jan 27-28
MANILA, Philippines — There is no need yet to tighten restrictions in the country as current projections show that the country’s health care system may be able to manage the surge in COVID-19 infections until January 27 or 28, an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.
WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said deciding to increase alert levels or restrictions should only be done if there are already signs that the health care system is being overwhelmed.
This is not yet seen in the Philippines, he said.
“Analysis that we have done projects that we can manage the health system until about the 27th or 28th of January even if the trends up to yesterday continue,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
Abeyasinghe noted that “we may be able to manage beyond that” if the decline of new COVID-19 cases recorded on Tuesday will also continue.
Abeyasinghe said that apart from restricting mobility, people, at the individual level, must follow minimum public health standards and isolate and quarantine themselves if they have symptoms of exposure to COVID-19 to reduce transmission.
“[This is] to also reduce the need for stricter quarantine because that has very serious economic consequences,” he said.
“We need to try to take the best approach and try to keep the economy open unless we are seeing signs that the current alert levels aren’t working,” he added.
The government’s pandemic task force is set to discuss on Thursday new alert levels for areas starting Jan. 16 to Jan. 31.
The Philippines, especially in Metro Manila, is currently seeing an exponential increase in COVID-19 infections, prompting the government to place the national capital region, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite under Alert Level 3.
The Philippines recorded on Tuesday 28,007 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 181,016.
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