MANILA – The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPI) has recommended the extension of the national state of calamity due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), set to expire in December.
“Sa tingin po natin dapat ituloy pa iyan kahit siguro until the first quarter of the year (We think that it should continue until the first quarter of [next] year),“ PHAPI president Dr. Jose de Grano said in a televised public briefing Thursday.
De Grano noted that while a decrease in the number of cases has been observed, the active cases are still at about 17,000.
“Tuluy-tuloy pa rin po iyan lalo na ngayon na magkakaroon tayo ng mga holiday season – at kita naman ninyo na halos lahat hindi na nagmamaskara ‘no. So ibig sabihin may posibilidad pa rin na tumaas 'yang number of cases natin (That will continue especially now that it's the holiday season. And as you see, many people no longer wear face masks. So, there is still a possibility for the cases to increase),” he said.
Lifting the state of calamity may possibly affect the implementation of certain measures to address the pandemic as mandated by laws passed in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, including faster procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, vaccination, and provision of benefits for health care workers, he said.
As for the Covid-19 situation in hospitals, de Grano said the hospital utilization rate saw no significant increase across all regions.
“Low risk pa rin, less than 25 percent; except po doon sa Visayas na nakita natin na medyo tumaas ng beyond, above 25 percent iyong Region 6 and 7. Pero, generally po sa ating mga private hospitals, hindi naman po tumataas ang mga Covid cases (It is still low risk, less than 25 percent; except in the Visayas where we saw an increase beyond 25 percent, in Western Visayas and Central Visayas. But, generally, in our private hospitals, the Covid cases did not increase),” he said.
The Department of Health reported 703 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the overall tally to 4,028,187 with 17,049 active cases as of November 23. (PNA)