NKTI now in full capacity for COVID-19 patients as workers test positive

NKTI now in full capacity for COVID-19 patients as workers test positive
This March 2020 photo shows staff at the National Kidney Transplant Institute setting up a triage area outside the hospital for suspected COVID-19 patients, as part of their precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The National Kidney Transplant Institute has reached full capacity for its COVID-19 patients, with more of its health workers also contracting the virus.

In a statement, the hospital management asked the public to refer possible COVID-19 patients to other facilities, as all of its designated beds are already occupied.

The NKTI also said that it has seen a "significant increase" in its health workers testing positive in the last weeks. 

It is unclear as to how many of the country's top kidney transplant facility had caught the virus out of the total number of employees there.

But on March 23, the management announced a mass testing for its staff. The following day, it said that RT-PCR tests will now be limited only to its patients with screening for its personnel also ongoing.

"We appeal to everyone to cooperate and observe all precautionary measures to stop COVID-19 transmission," the NTKI said.

The facility's emergency room, however, will continue to "acutely manage only renal emergency cases," as well as post-kidney transplant patients.

In recent days, several hospitals in Metro Manila have also announced full capacity for its COVID-19 wards.

According to the health department, the occupancy rate of COVID-19 beds in  hospitals in the capital region are: 52% or low risk for ward beds, 66% or moderate risk for isolation and already 74% or high risk for beds in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Mechanical ventilators are also now at 52% or low risk. The agency said the One Hospital Command Center has been tasked to identify the needs of hospitals to accommodate more COVID-19 patients, after government ordered both public and private facilities to increase their allocation.

As it stands, the Philippines continues to battle an ongoing surge in infections that has yet to show signs of slowing down. Earlier, officials reported a new record-high of 8,773 additional cases, which pushed the country's overall to 693,048.

What has grown to become another concern too is the continuing increase in active cases, which is now at 99,891. This was up by 8,137 from Wednesday.



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