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Stories of netizens reveal real ground data on COVID-19 response, show lapses in gov’t pandemic response

These stories come as facilities continue to reach critical levels as far as COVID-19 beds, wards, and equipment are concerned.

From regular Juans to healthcare workers on the frontlines, it seemed Filipinos have the “actual data” that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases sorely needs—especially in hospitals.

These stories come as facilities continue to reach critical levels as far as COVID-19 beds, wards, and equipment are concerned.

Dr. Roland Angeles, a doctor on duty at the Philippine General Hospital’s (PGH) COVID intensive care unit (ICU), recalled his experience from the past eight months on duty.

In particular, he shared his experience with Filipinos looking to have their loved ones be taken care of at PGH COVID wards.

He has even heard of stories of young Filipinos dying on their way to the hospital because of COVID-19.

Another netizen, a game developer, details his harrowing account of how his father died of COVID-19–all because the IATF and the national government had not prepared for the virus one year later.

He talks about how they had to drive from one hospital to the next because of exorbitant ambulance fees as well as trying to find an emergency room willing to refill his father’s oxygen tank.

He added that it wouldn’t be until his father reached critical status that hospitals considered admitting his father—though it would not be within the four sterile walls of the hospital.

This would be further highlighted after news of former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada testing positive for COVID-19 broke.

Netizens would point out how Estrada was “rushed” to a nearby hospital and was eventually stabilized, yet the game developer’s father spent a good few hours on the road before even coming close to getting proper medical attention.

Data analytics expert Edson Guido would even show how bad the situation really is across the country based on data from the Department of Health.

“The situation is likely worse on the ground,” Guido added, showing how accurate netizen’s experiences are.

After President Rodrigo Duterte placed the region known as NCR Plus, health experts hoped for a bit of reprieve, especially those currently working in COVID wards across the country. The National Capital Region and neighboring provinces Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan—under lockdown for a week.

Healthcare workers can breathe, as experts observed. Via enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and limited people movement–it helped the medical frontliners.

The government, however, said the one-week ECQ serves to observe how daily case counts behave. A decision extending ECQ in NCR Plus will likely come before the current lockdown ends on April 4.

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