The lockdown announced in the Philippines last week has been extended for another amidst a surge in coronavirus cases.
The daily infection rates showed at 10,000 cases forcing President Rodrigo Duterte to place restrictions on major provinces. All social gatherings were temporarily suspended, including easter celebrations.
The largest government-run hospital in the capital city of Manila had informed that it could no longer take in any more covid cases after the wards running double their capacity to accommodate COVID-19 patients, AP reported.
"We are not just full. We are very full. In fact, the hospital has been full for the past two weeks," said Dr Norberto Francisco, hospital spokesman. The Health Ministry said that that ward capacity would soon be increased in other hospitals. The presidential spokesman Harry Roque stated that the officials are to begin a 110-bed intensive-care unit in a hospital in Manila. The launch of mobile COVID-19 intensive-care centres is in talks, he added.
"The rule now is stay home. If we don't lock down again, our hospitals will be overwhelmed, and the frontliners may not be able to help those who will seriously or critically get ill," Roque told ABS-CBN News last week.
Opposition parties have accused the government of failing to deal with the pandemic. A record number of 382 new coronavirus cases were reported in the Philippines, taking the total number of cases to 812,760 as of Tuesday. The death toll in the country rose to 13,817.
"No one could have probably foreseen how infectious these new variants are, and as a result of which we have these ballooning numbers," remarked Roque on Monday.