(July 14, 2020) — Hospitals in the capital will soon run out of beds dedicated for coronavirus patients as the number of infections continue to rise, the health department warned on Tuesday.
Health officials said the number of coronavirus positive cases has reached 57,545, but more than 35,000 were active cases.
More than 20,000 have recovered and 1,500 have died.
On Sunday, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the utilization of COVID-19 isolation beds and ward beds in Metro Manila reached the “danger zone”.
About 76% of COVID-dedicated beds in Metro Manila have been occupied.
Based on its data, 77.4 percent or 1190 COVID ward beds and 73.7 percent or 2,898 COVID isolation beds are now being utilized.
The capital region’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds and mechanical ventilator usage were also in what the health department described as in the “warning zone”.
At least 513 ICU beds or 61 percent were occupied, while 761 mechanical ventilators or 36.3 percent were being used.
Several major private and public hospitals in Metro Manila have declared that they have reached full capacity of their beds dedicated for coronavirus patients.
For the entire country, the percentage though of occupied beds is now at 49 percent, or in the warning zone.
Also in the same warning zone for bed capacity are Central Visayas (64%), CALABARZON (60%), Davao Region (41%), and Central Luzon (32%).
However, the DOH insists that the country’s allocation of beds for COVID-19 patients is actually still below the required 30% or 32,252.
By DOH data, only 20 percent of beds in public hospitals and nine percent of beds in private hospitals are dedicated for coronavirus cases for the entire country, or at 14,945.
“Ang health system natin ay nag-ooperate pa rin sa normal capacity,” Vergeire said, further explaining what a warning zone means for health care facilities in the country.
“Our health system is not yet overwhelmed, ngunit isa itong trigger point upang mas mag-signal na kailangan may karampatang kilos na, kailangang gawin upang makapaghanda tayo kung tumataas man ang demand.”
As of Tuesday, the confirmed coronavirus cases in the country have reached 57,545, after the DOH reported 634 additional infections.
A total of 35,483 of these are considered to be active cases, with 95 purged from the case bulletin due to duplications.
Recoveries increased by 88, with the total at 20,459, following reconciliation and validation efforts on those with no more symptoms since March to May.
But six more fatalities have been recorded, with the death toll now at 1,603. All six were senior citizens.
Vergeire also clarified that home quarantine should only be done when requirements are strictly met–such as having separate bedrooms and toilets, and with the patient living with no other at-risk individuals.
Otherwise, those with mild symptoms or are asymptomatic should stay in isolation facilities to further prevent the spread of the virus in the home or in the community.
Also on Tuesday, a Social Weather Stations Survey (SWS) showed that six out of ten Filipinos (61%) believe that China had concealed information about the severity of COVID-19.
But 23% do not believe and 15% are undecided.
The pollster also asked whether China should be held accountable for not immediately sharing their information on the coronavirus.
A majority of Filipinos at 77% said they agree that China should be accountable, while 15% disagree, and 7% were undecided.
The survey was commissioned by think tank Stratbase Albert del Rosario (ADR) Institute from July 3-6, four years after the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines against China in the South China Sea. (Katrina Elaine Alba/MM)
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