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Medical expert: ECQ must stay until hospital admissions drop

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 4/4/2021 ERWIN COLCOL,GMA News
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National Task Force Against COVID-19 medical expert Dr. Ted Herbosa said Sunday the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces should continuously be implemented until the number of coronavirus patients being brought to hospitals goes down.

Herbosa made the remark hours after the announcement of the ECQ extension in the "NCR Plus" for at least one week starting April 5.

"Tinitingnan ko rin yung hospitals. Kapag hindi kaya ng hospitals, hindi muna natin dapat i-lift yung ECQ" (I'm looking at the situation in hospitals. If they continue to be overwhelmed, we should not lift the ECQ right away), Herbosa told "Dobol B TV." 

He pointed out that the re-imposition of ECQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna was not merely aimed at controlling the pandemic but to protect the country's health system from overcapacity.

We re-imposed ECQ partly because hospitals were overwhelmed, he said in Filipino.

He even cited reports that some patients had to wait for days to be admitted, and some died while waiting. "May mga kwento na tayong nadidinig na naghihintay ng ilang araw, namamatay sa tent sa labas." 

Herbosa added that other factors may be considered in deciding whether to lift the ECQ, including the COVID-19 reproduction number and the test positivity test rate.

Now, Herbosa said, the COVID-19 reproduction number is between 1.4 to 1.8. This means that if a person infects 10 others this day, the number of infections will go up to 14 the following day.

Ideally, the COVID-19 reproduction rate should go down to less than 1. At the same time, the test positivity rate should also go drop to below 5% from the current 24%, Herbosa added. 

"Yung test positivity rate, bababa yan kapag naa-isolate mo yung super spreader. Kapag naa-isolate mo sila, siyempre makakapagbaba ng hawaan. So ang hinahanap natin diyan is nasa below 5% para tumigil yung pagkalat," he said.

[The test positivity rate will go down if you isolate the super spreaders. When you isolate them, of course infections will go down. What we want is to bring it down to below 5% to stop the spread of COVID-19.]

On Saturday, the Philippines logged 12,576 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total tally to 784,043. —LBG, GMA News


This article Medical expert: ECQ must stay until hospital admissions drop was originally published in GMA News Online.

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