By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
MORE PATIENTS. A hospital hallway leading to rooms of Covid-19 patients. In the past weeks, more beds are occupied by patients infected with the disease in some cities in Metro Manila. (Screengrab)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– An official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said more beds are occupied by patients infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in some cities in Metro Manila.
In a Zoom presser, DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said the cities of Makati, Quezon, Taguig and Manila are experiencing high utilization of isolation beds, ward beds, and intensive care units (ICUs).
“Dito sa NCR (National Capital Region) napapansin natin ‘yung increase in the number of utilization for Covid-19 isolation beds and wards. Umaabot na siya ng high-moderate risk (Here in NCR we’re noticing an increase in the utilization of Covid-19 isolation beds and wards. It’s reaching high-moderate risk),” Vega said.
Having an occupancy rate of 60 to 70 percent is at moderate risk, he said, while having an occupancy rate of 85 percent or more is at a critical level.
For the whole country, the health care utilization rate is nearing moderate risk at 41 percent, Vega added.
About 53 percent of new Covid-19 cases are from the NCR and the provinces of Laguna, Bulacan and Cavite, he said.
The increasing occupancy of hospital beds could be the result of some hospitals admitting patients exhibiting mild symptoms of Covid-19, he added.
To avoid filling up hospitals in the region, he said the government is eyeing increasing bed allocation for Covid-19 patients from 30 percent to 50 percent, while more room is made in level three hospitals by transferring non-severe or critical patients.
He said isolation facilities such as hotels may also be used for asymptomatic and mild Covid-19 patients.
More modular hospitals will also be built, with such units constructed at the Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center and the Quezon Institute.
Vega said a total of 350 to 380 more beds may be added to these hospitals aside from increasing the number of health workers, with over 2,000 health workers hired by the DOH. (PNA)