Two medical societies in Negros Oriental urged the government to reimpose enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as the province tallied the most number of COVID cases in the Central Visayas region.
“The past few weeks have been overwhelming for those of us in the healthcare sector in Negros Oriental. We have reported highs in positive cases on consecutive days last week with 204 cases just last Friday, May 21, 2021,” said the Philippine College of Physicians-Negros Oriental chapter (PCP-Negros Oriental chapter) in a statement released Sunday, May 23.
On Friday, Negros Oriental recorded its highest daily spike in infections since the pandemic began, with the provincial government recording 709 active cases, or almost 3.5 times more than a month prior. The Department of Health regional office, however, has a much higher count of 1,091 active cases as of Sunday, May 23.
“Our average daily attack rate (ADAR) is currently at 8.12 (critical level is more than 7) and hospital bed capacity occupancy is near 100%, all of which are qualifiers for the call of a higher form of quarantine,” PCP-Negros Oriental chapter added.
Three major Dumaguete hospitals are already at full capacity as of May 21. Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital is at 110%, ACE Doctors Dumaguete at 107%, and Holy Child Hospital at 100%. Silliman University Medical Center, which earlier announced that it will no longer admit COVID patients, expanded its COVID beds from 51 to 57, with 84% occupied.
Dumaguete City remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Negros Oriental, with 184 active cases as of the provincial government’s May 21 report.
“We are asking for our local government to take action on a faster rollout of vaccinations, a better implementation of curfews and discipline. We are calling on our local businesses to enforce stricter quarantine rules and have a heightened sense of social responsibility. We are pleading to our fellow Negrenses to be more cognizant of health practices and safety protocols,” PCP-Negros Oriental said.
Earlier on Sunday, May 23, the Negros Oriental Medical Society also called for enhanced community quarantine in the province “before healthcare collapses.”
“1.5 years into the pandemic, and we are seeing a 100 FOLD RISE in cases from last year! Never say that we have COVID under control. We are losing the fight. What is being done, is just not enough,” read the statement posted on its Facebook page.
Both organizations recognized that returning the province to the strictest quarantine classification will be a difficult but necessary measure to give the healthcare system a “reprieve.” Negros Oriental has been under modified general community quarantine, the most relaxed quarantine classification, since July 2020.
“PLEASE PEOPLE OF NEGROS ORIENTAL. DO SOMETHING. STOP PARTIES. STOP GATHERINGS. DONT SOCIALIZE. WEAR MASKS. GIVE US CURFEWS. GIVE US TIME TO RESET. PLEASE DO SOMETHING before healthcare collapses. The end of healthcare will be the end of society. HELP US HEALTHWORKERS,” the Negros Oriental Medical Society’s statement read.
“We need to be ONE in the battle against COVID-19. We need to listen to each other. Our healthcare system is screaming and we hope you heed the call,” the PCP-Negros Oriental chapter said. – Rappler.com