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‘Losing battle’: Philippine doctors, nurses urge new Covid-19 lockdowns as infections surge

MANILA – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday ordered his coronavirus task force to address the concerns of more than a million doctors and nurses who called for reviving strict lockdowns after a third day of record infections.

But the government cast doubt on the request of the frontline healthcare workers to revive strict lockdowns of the populous area in and around the capital Manila.

In the largest call yet from medical experts to contain the virus, 80 groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses, said the Philippines was losing the fight against COVID-19 and warned of a collapse of the healthcare system from soaring infections without tighter controls.

“Our health workers are burnt out with seemingly endless number of patients trooping to our hospitals for emergency care and admission,” the group, led by the Philippine College of Physicians, said in a letter to the president, as the Southeast Asian nation recorded 4,963 infections of the coronavirus.

“We are waging a losing battle against COVID-19,” it said.

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