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DOH: Philippines could have 430K active cases by end-April without ECQ
A policeman checks cyclists next to motorists (R) caught in a traffic at a quarantine checkpoint along a highway in Cainta town, boundary between Rizal province and suburban Manila on March 29, 2021, on day one of government's imposing stricker lockdown, as hospitals in the capital struggle to cope with a surge in coronavirus infections.
AFP/Jam Sta. Rosa

DOH: Philippines could have 430K active cases by end-April without ECQ

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - March 29, 2021 - 8:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — Active COVID-19 cases in the Philippines would reach 430,000 by the end of April if the strictest quarantine measure was not enforced in Metro Manila and four neighboring province, the Department of Health said Monday.

In a briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there is a “continuing and swift rise of cases” in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna—dubbed as the “NCR Plus.”

“They said that if we don’t implement immediate and harder measures, we would see 430,000 active cases by the end of April nationally, and 350,000 cases in NCR alone by the end of April,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino, citing the analysis of disease surveillance tool FASSSTER.

The Philippines reported Monday 10,016 new COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day tally since the pandemic began, taking the caseload to 731,894. Of these, 15.8% or 115,495 are active cases.

“We did ECQ because this will provide time for us to address this non-compliance with health protocols and operational issues in relation to case detection, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine,” Vergeire said.

NCR and its nearby provinces are under ECQ until Easter Sunday, April 4, as COVID-19 cases pile up at an alarming rate.

Healthcare utilization

Vergeire said the country’s health system is “choking,” with healthcare utilization rates reaching 63% in capital region and 58% in Calabarzon.

“What would be more worrisome is our ICU utilization rate, wherein if you look at the different areas affected or included in ‘NCR Plus’ bubble, you would find utilization ranging from 70% to 100% for their ICU beds,” the health official said.

She stressed the reimposition of ECQ “aims to slow down surge of cases, stop the spread of variants, allow the health system to recover and protect more lives.”

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