Philippines: “we are losing the war on COVID-19”, warn doctors

(Manila) Eighty medical associations have warned that the Philippines is losing the battle against COVID – 19, and called on President Rodrigo Duterte to return to stricter containment, after a recent easing of restrictions, as the number of cases of contamination increases and hospitals, overwhelmed, refuse patients.

France Media Agency

These associations which represent several tens of thousands of doctors have in an open letter to the president underlined that on Saturday, the country had recorded a record number of nearly 5000 new cases of contamination with the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to more than 98 00.

Health professionals send “a message of distress to the nation, our health system has been overwhelmed”, they write.

“We are losing the battle against COVID – 19”, they are alarmed, pointing out that a growing number of caregivers get sick or quit their job. Some overcrowded hospitals refuse to admit new patients, they warn.

According to the Ministry of Health, 34 health professionals died from COVID – 15 in the Phillippines. The total number of deaths stood at 2039 on Saturday.

The Philippines in mid-March imposed on the population one of the strictest lockdowns on the planet, allowing outings only for the purchase of food and medical care.

But the government recently eased restrictions to allow residents to return to work amid a crisis marked by the loss of millions of jobs.

In their open letter, the practitioners ask President Duterte to again place Manila and the neighboring provinces under “reinforced collective quarantine” until 12 August, time to improve “pandemic control strategies”.

President Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque assured that the government would review the doctors' recommendations.