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The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed its concern over the Philippines as the country closes in the “red line” where the number of cases reach beyond the capacity of health facilities.
“We are concerned about the situation in the Philippines. We’re concerned because the surge is really continuing and moving towards the so-called red line,” WHO Western Pacific Regional Director Takeshi Kasai said in an online press conference Wednesday.
The official emphasized that it is important to avoid reaching the red line as it would place healthcare workers in a difficult situation.
“Once we cross that red line, we put healthcare workers in a very difficult situation. Once healthcare workers start getting [infected], the healthcare capacity goes down and ironically that’s the time more and more people need some help,” he said.
WHO noted several factors causing the current surge in COVID-19 cases, including the presence of variants of concern, non-compliance to minimum public health standards, and increased mobility.
The Philippines currently has over 800,000 recorded COVID-19 cases, with more than 14,000 deaths.
The capital region, together with the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulawayo are placed under the strictest quarantine restrictions until April 11 to address the spike in cases.