MANILA – The local government of Marinduque on Saturday said it would seek the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 to revert its lockdown classification level a notch higher as virus cases continued to climb and overwhelm the health system.

“Meron talagang pagtaas ng infection kaya alert level 3 kami. Sa ngayon po MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) kami pero dahil sa pagtaas, sa Lunes po mag-iimpose kami ng GCQ,” said Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco.

Velasco said COVID-19 cases soared in recent days possibly driven by the more contagious Delta variant.

“As of August 12, meron kaming 1,155 cases, samantalang noong Mayo po, halos 390 lang ang aming case. Nagdoble o nag triple ang pagtaas so talagang halos medyo mahirap hawakan o i-manage ang ganyang biglaan, parang nao-overwhelm na ‘yung system, ‘yung facility kaya talagang medyo mahirap,” he said.

(As of August 12, we had 1,155 cases, while in May we only had 390. The cases doubled or tripled so it’s hard to manage the sudden surge, the system, the facilities are getting overwhelmed so it’s quite hard.)

Velasco, in an interview on TeleRadyo, said that the executive order for the change in the lockdown level is ready for release. The GCQ, he said, will be in place for 2 weeks.

“Binabalanse rin po natin ang ekonomiya at health restrictions pero mas importante muna itong kalusugan at COVID situation natin.
Mag-GCQ at maglalagay ng mas mahigpit na restrictions lalo po sa pagpasok at paglabas ng mga tao dito sa Marinduque. Lahat ng pumapasok ay potential carrier so maghihigpit po kami nitong darating na Monday po, talagang GCQ po muna kami. Ihihingi po namin ng approval sa IATF,” he said.

(We try to balance the economy and health restrictions but the health and our COVID situation are more important. We will impose strict restrictions on people entering and leaving Marinduque. All those who are entering the province are potential carriers so we will impose strict restrictions, this coming Monday we’ll be under GCQ status. We will seek the approval of the IATF.)

The Marinduque Provincial Hospital has temporarily deferred admissions in its COVID-19 ward after the delay in the delivery of oxygen tanks.

Nurses and doctors are also getting tired from managing COVID-19 patients.

Velasco said they will ask for additional medical workers from the Department of Health. The Philippine Medical Association in Marinduque also pledged to support health workers of the provincial hospital.

READ ALSO: May sintomas ng COVID, close contacts diretso sa isolation facility sa Marinduque

“Isang solusyon na nakikita namin ‘yung coordination at cooperation sa mga private medical practitioners at ‘yung tulong po ng DOH at makikipag-usap nga po tayo kay Sec. [Francisco] Duque at sa regional director tungkol sa bagay na ito,” he said.

(One solution we’re looking at is the coordination and cooperation of some private medical practitioners and the help from the DOH and we will talk to Sec. Duque and to our regional director about the issue.)

Aside from manpower, Velasco said they are also waiting for the delivery of high flow machines that they ordered to help manage COVID patients.

This story was first published on ABSCBN News

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