By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Daily Tribune

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is not considering a time out among healthcare workers at this time in order to address the spike of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

In a media forum, Health Undersecretary and Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Philippines’ health utilization rate remained at the “manageable level,” admitted there was a recent increase of admissions due to the disease.

“When we went around nakita natin dumadami po talaga ang mga tao sa ER (emergency room), ang may mga sintomas ng COVID. Pero to say that the system is overwhelmed? No,” she said.

“Pag tinignan po natin ang healthcare utilization we’re still at the manageable level na mayroon pa po tayong almost 50% na puwede ma-accommodate ang ating mga pasyente,” Vergeire added.

Vergeire said the DOH’s current recommendation is intensifying COVID-19 minimum health protocols in communities.

“Of course, the government is there and very much monitoring kung kailangan talaga ng time out,” she said.

“[Kung] dadating tayo doon sa punto na kakailanganing makahinga ang ating sistema ay iyan naman ay irerekomenda pero sa ngayon hindi pa po natin nakikita yung pangangailangan dahil mino-mobilize natin ang local governments to their localized responses.”

Earlier, Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Spokesman Jonas Del Rosario said there is no need for time out among health workers yet.

Last August, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces under stricter lockdown for two weeks following pleas from the medical community for a time out amid rising COVID-19 cases being admitted then to hospitals and a recalibration of strategies to combat the virus.