Isolation of positive cases and improved health infrastructure are sure ways to suppress COVID-19.
Health Undersecretary and Treatment Czar Leopoldo Vega said the only way that we can coexist with the pandemic is if we strike a balance between suppressing it and slowly opening up the economy.
“By this time, we have gained the experience and gained improvements on how to take the virus. We know it is very mechanical. It finds a host, it replicates, and then it finds another host again to mutate. If this is very mechanical, we can suppress it,” he said during the inauguration of the Manila Times College of Subic Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility.
He added that suppressing the virus means testing and isolating those who are positive; citing that establishment of isolation facilities is one of the suppression methods that the government is trying to do.
“This is crucial because if we can’t suppress the virus, it will spread, it will replicate, and it will actually move towards vulnerable persons who will have serious diseases or severe COVID. We don’t want that to happen,” he said.
Vega stressed that an isolation center stops the transmission because the virus cannot find another host to replicate.
However, he explained that isolation is just the first intervention. To fully arrest the virus, there is also a need to improve on infrastructure.
“Health infrastructure means that it must be very responsive to the needs of the community especially during a pandemic. We have to make sure that there are enough beds for moderate and severe cases because this will actually lean towards a higher case fatality rate if we don’t do something about it,” Vega said.
This is the reason why aside from testing and isolation, there is a need to improve on capacity.
To ensure these two are met, Vega said the government is building on more isolation facilities and even modular field hospitals and intensive care units in the different hospitals.
“By doing this, it can serve and cater to more patients so they won’t die so we will have a lower mortality rate,” he said.