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Extensive lockdown not option vs. COVID-19 surge

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- Dr. Rontgene Solante, Vaccine Experts Panel member, said extensive lockdown is no longer being considered an option to curb possible surge of COVID-19 cases when highly transmissible subvariants of Omicron enter the country.

In a televised public briefing Wednesday, the health expert said monitoring of the hospital utilization rate nationwide is more important than lockdowns.

Department of Health data on May 9 showed that only 14.5 percent or 4,546 out of 26,811 hospital beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients are utilized nationwide.

Apart from monitoring healthcare facilities, Solante said it was important to encourage people to be tested for COVID-19 when they have symptoms.

“If we don’t do the test 'di natin alam kung ano ang nangyayari, ano ang mga kaso natin kagaya ng nangyari for the past week na mababa talaga ang testing natin (We won’t know what’s happening, our cases, like what happened in the past we really have low testing [rate]),” he said.

Photo courtesy of Philippine News Agency

Testing provides pertinent data that could protect the healthcare facilities.

“’Yun naman ang objective natin ngayon na (That’s our objective now that) healthcare facilities should always be ready,” Solante added.

There were 12,066 individuals tested in 297 testing laboratories nationwide on May 9.

To date, the total tally of individuals tested for Covid-19 in the 340 testing laboratories nationwide already reached 28,006,9714.

The country’s cumulative positivity rate is 14.2 percent. (PIA-NCR)

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