A DAVAO City-based medical association is urging Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to place the city under a two-week city-wide lockdown to address the worsening health care situation brought about by the continuous uptrend of Covid-19 cases.
The Davao Medical Society (DMS) forwarded a formal letter to Duterte-Carpio on Friday, November 11, recommending a 15-day lockdown to restrict the movement of people in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.
According to the letter, which was also forwarded to SunStar Davao, DMS said the increasing number of Dabawenyos infected with Covid-19 is alarming, which had been notable in recent weeks.
DMS said this had resulted in the government-owned Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) reaching its full capacity, with no available Covid-19 beds left for patients who are waiting to be transferred to the said hospital.
According to the group, SPMC has only 160 beds intended for Covid-19 cases, but currently admitted patients are now at 165.
Based on the breakdown, two percent are asymptomatic, 36 percent have mild symptoms, 31 percent are moderate, 21 percent are severe and 10 percent are critical cases.
“The trend is going towards an increase in the moderate, severe and critical cases, hence, the hospital is always in full capacity. These moderate cases are also requiring oxygen supplementation and cannot be admitted to the TTMF (temporary treatment and monitoring facilities),” DMS said in a statement.
The group said some private hospitals in the city have already opened their wards to accommodate Covid-19 patients but had been “quickly filled up.”
It also expressed concern about the growing number of patients who are doing self-isolation in their homes while waiting for them to be transferred to the TTMF.
DMS said with this scenario, there would be a 53-percent chance that other members of the household would also be exposed and infected.
The group also expressed their concern about the continuous increase of health workers infected by the dreadful virus and the increase of cases leading to an added burden to some facilities due to understaffing.
“It would be disheartening to see cases where patients die inside their homes or in the waiting areas because the understaffed and capacity maximized hospitals are not able to accommodate them,” it said.
It cited the easing of some quarantine restrictions as the main factor in the worsening Covid-19 situation on the ground.
“The apparent easing of the restrictions after the strictly imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) led to a misconception among the populace that the pandemic is getting better. when in truth is we are far from it,” DMS said.
DMS President Jose Beltran Jr. told SunStar Davao in a phone interview that the mayor already received their letter and the latter endorsed their concerns to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF).
Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview on Friday she personally received the medical group’s letter has forwarded it to RIATF as they are the proper agency to decide on the matter.
Beltran said they are not recommending for the city to be placed back under ECQ, contrary to some news reports that have circulated.
He said they will let the task force decide on what status they will recommend as long it will be able to limit the movement of the people.
“We do not recommend the total closure of businesses. Perhaps, staggered working hours, pero naa gihapon trabaho but limited lang,” he said.
Beltran said the city cannot afford an ECQ as this will gravely affect the economy.
He also said the economy cannot jumpstart if cases in the city would continue to surge.