How Filipino health community reacted to Philippines’ record-high 7,103 COVID-19 cases

March 19, 2021 - 7:17 PM
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A health worker performs a swab test for detection of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a school turned evacuation center for residents affected by Typhoon Vamco, in Rodriguez, Rizal, Philippines, November 27, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

The medical community expressed alarm over the more than 7,000 new COVID-19 infections, which was the highest single-day tally since the pandemic started a year ago.

On Friday, the Department of Health reported 7,103 new cases, bringing the total to 648,066.

Of these, 73,264 are active cases, the highest since August 29, 2020 when it breached the 70,000 mark.

There are also 13 new deaths, increasing the death toll to 12,900. There are only 390 recoveries, which sums up to 561,902.

 

Statistician Edson Guido of ABS-CBN also pointed out that it was the first time that the DOH reported more than 5,000 new infections for two consecutive days.

Reactions from local Twitterverse, particularly among health workers, were filled with sentiments of uneasiness, alarm, anger, and frustration.

“So 7,000 ang new COVID-19 cases sa Pilipinas today. This is not good news. Mag cocollapse ang healthcare system ng bansa kung mag patuloy ito,” one doctor said.

“7k cases today. If our health protocols worked, mangyayari ba to? A competent task force SHOULD have been able to prevent this. Stop blaming the people. Resign na kayo #Dutertepalpak,” another doctor said.

Physician Jai Cabajar also shared how exhausted he was.

“Huhuhu ayoko na,” he said.

Activist RJ Naguit, meanwhile, tagged the official Twitter of Harry Roque and quipped: “Wala bang pa-congratulations we beat the record dyan.”

The Palace spokesman had a bad record of making false claims of success in terms of the national government’s response to the pandemic despite numbers that state otherwise.

An internist named Harold Henrison Chiu advised the public to avoid eating together, social activities and other risky behaviors.

Tony Leachon, former consultant of the National Task Force against COVID-19, meanwhile, urged the government to impose stricter lockdowns anew to help reduce the transmission rate and prevent health care collapse.

“Record breaking COVID cases today at 7,103. The government should move quickly to shift to MECQ or ECQ to slow down the virus to prevent healthcare collapse. Hospitals are full with COVID and non COVID cases. Sense of urgency is needed,” Leachon wrote.

Such development eventually reached Vice President Leni Robredo. She shared graphs on how the country is faring both in public health and in the economy compared to other countries.

“We have the worst trajectory in the number of new covid cases and worst economic performance compared to our neighbors. All figures definitely not mine. Again, first step in keeping our acts together is to acknowledge how big a problem we have,” she said.

The graphs which came from Financial Times and think tank IBON Foundation showed that the Philippines is the only country with an uphill trajectory in COVID-19 infections.

 

IBON Foundation executive director Sonny Africa also shared a similar presentation on Twitter where nearly all countries in Southeast Asia have an either downward or steady trend in COVID-19 cases except the Philippines.

READ: Philippines remains the only Southeast Asian country with COVID-19 cases spike, data show

Previously, an American epidemiologist named Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding last week described the Philippines’ situation as “worrisome.”

“Philippines is trouble. Somehow, it’s usually the places headed by you-know-what type of leaders with these surges these days,” he said.