Philippines ‘losing battle’ against COVID-19, Doctors lament

Medical officers in the Philippines have called on government to impose a strict lockdown in the capital Manila in order to mitigate the rising spread in the number of coronavirus cases.

According to them, the country’s health system, requires a time out to avert collapse, even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded the highest daily number of new cases so far during the pandemic.

“Our health workers are suffering burnout with a seemingly endless number of patients trooping to our hospitals for emergency care and admission,” said Jose Santiago, president of the leading doctors’ group, Philippine Medical Association, on the heel of the temporary closure of Manila’s largest government hospitals as infections hit medical workers.

He said doctors were “waging a losing battle against Covid-19 and we need to draw up a consolidated and definitive plan of action.”

The country posted a record of about 4,000 cases each day in the past 48 hours.

Total infections as at Friday were 93,354, the second highest number of cases in south-east Asia.

The Philippines imposed one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the region not seen in other countries, but the doctors said poor detection, isolation and contact tracing have failed to contain the disease. Since lockdowns were eased, outbreaks in construction sites and industrial plants have been reported.

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