LOCKDOWN. A village watchman guards a checkpoint at a street on Block 41 in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City. Authorities have placed Zones 4, 5, and 9 of the village under granular lockdown since Friday until March 18 as part of efforts to curb the rising coronavirus cases in the city. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Mar 15 (Mabuhay) — The implementation of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) may be imposed again once hospitals and temporary treatment facilities become fully occupied, a consultant of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) said on Sunday.

NTF consultant Dr. Ted Herbosa said the high occupancy rate of health facilities may lead to more fatalities because they cannot immediately accommodate all patients.

“Usually, we will go back to MECQ when hospitals and temporary treatment facilities are already fully occupied,” he said.

“When hospitals are full, more people may die because they cannot treat them. They are waiting in line for admission,” he added.

On Saturday, the Philippines on Saturday reported another record high of 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, the highest reported in seven months, bringing the total tally to 616,611.

Some of the country’s top hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) felt the effects of the spike in the number of infections in the past weeks.

In a statement on Saturday, the Quezon City General Hospital said that since March 9, the occupancy rate of the hospital’s COVID-19 ward beds had exceeded 100%.

According to QCGH Director Dr. Josephine Sabando, COVID-19 bed occupancy on March 9 was 106%; it was 137.5% on March 10; 125% on March 11; and 112% on March 12.

The NCR and nine other areas were placed under general community quarantine this March, while the rest of the country would be under modified GCQ. (MNS)

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