The Health Department on Tuesday recorded 90 new cases of the virus in the country, bringing the national total to 552 patients. 
The STAR/Edd Gumban
Makati Medical Center can no longer handle new COVID-19 patients
( - March 24, 2020 - 7:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — Makati Medical Center has reached its full capacity for responding to incoming novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and will no longer be doing so in the coming days. 

This was confirmed by the hospital's management in a statement issued on their official Facebook page. 

MMC said the decision ,came after a "thorough review of bed capacity [particularly the Critical Care Units], workforce availability, and supply of vital infection prevention equipment."

"MMC has reached its threshold in its capacity in responding to respond to more COVID-19 cases. As such, we can no longer extend the same degree of care and attention for any additional admission of COVID-19 cases," their statement read. 

Earlier Tuesday, St. Luke's Medical Center announced its hospitals in Taguig and in Quezon City would also no longer be taking in additional COVID-19 cases.

The health department on Tuesday recorded 90 new cases of the virus in the country, bringing the national total to 552 patients. 

As of this writing, the department's tracker has documented 615 persons under investigation and 6,321 persons under monitoring for the virus. 

Private hospitals 'in panic'

Earlier last week, a network private hospitals appealed to the Department of Health to centralize COVID-19 response efforts due to the inadequacy of their current facilities to accommodate all patients.

“The panic is escalating, mortality is increasing, our supplies of [PPE] are running short, our frontline staff are increasingly getting depleted as more of them are quarantined or physically and emotionally exhausted, and a number of our medical colleagues are already hooked to respirators fighting for their lives in various ICUs (intensive care units),” it read.

RELATED: FULL TEXT: Appeal of 11 private hospitals to DOH amid COVID-19 crisis

"We are ready to take in the non-COVID-19 patients of the designated COVID-19 hospitals, and if necessary, provide temporary practice privileges to their medical staff whose (non-COVID-19) patients will be transferred to our hospitals," the alliance of private hospitals added. 

In response, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed that the department would be designating a number of hospitals exclusively for COVID-19 patients.

These included 40 rooms of the Lung Center of the Philippines, 140 rooms of the Philippine General Hospital and the entirety of the Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital. — Franco Luna with report from Ratziel San Juan 

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