Manila hospital director backs staying at MECQ to reduce COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 4) — A Manila hospital director said it would be better to keep NCR Plus under modified enhanced community quarantine to further reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Grace Padilla, medical director of the Sta. Ana Hospital in the City of Manila, also told CNN Philippines' The Final Word that current community restrictions are effective. Sta. Ana Hospital has 79 people admitted for COVID-19, still far from its total bed allocation of 150, and no patients are waiting in line just to get a hospital bed.

"79 is a big number, so we need to continue what we are doing right now, and I think this is effective and continue to be in MECQ," she stressed.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have been under MECQ for around a month now after being under the strictest quarantine classification due to the surge in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed health facilities.

Recently, the Department of Health said it is has seen a slow decrease in the number of cases, specifically in the National Capital Region in the past two weeks. The OCTA research group also said they project cases in the NCR to go down to 2,800 from an average of 3,144 starting next week.

During the televised Cabinet meeting on Monday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the national two-week growth rate of cases has declined to -15% from 11% three to four weeks ago, while the national average daily attack rate went down to around 7 per 100,000 individuals in the week of April 18 to May 1 from 9.21 per 100,000 individuals during April 4 to 17.

On the rollout of the 3,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine they received from the national government, Padilla said 165 frontliners already received their first dose in the first day of the vaccination. No adverse events were reported, she added.

She said another vaccination site will be opened in the Ospital ng Maynila in a week's time to hasten the administration of COVID-19 shots. She added that the supply for the second dose is expected to arrive in time for the 21st day, when vaccinees should be receiving another shot.

RELATED: Sputnik V vaccines to be rolled out in 5 NCR cities