Recent record-high reports on new active COVID-19 cases show that the pandemic is far from over. Even the slight decrease in transmission in Metro Manila offers little comfort, as other regions brace and prepare for a possible surge.
In Mindanao, for example, local governments have expressed fatigue and dwindling resources to respond effectively to the pandemic, on top of other emergencies such as natural hazards, protracted conflict, and climate risks.
As hospital beds run out, people are lining up in makeshift tents with some of them dying while waiting for their turn to be admitted. Overwhelmed health workers, insufficient space for treatment and isolation, and financial difficulty call for alternative and cost-efficient solutions.