PGH: Most patients in our care unvaccinated vs COVID-19

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
PGH: Most patients in our care unvaccinated vs COVID-19
This undated file photo shows the Philippine General Hospital in Manila
The STAR / file

MANILA, Philippines — Most coronavirus patients in the country's largest COVID-19 referral facility are unvaccinated, a Philippine General Hospital official said, as he stressed the need for inoculations.

Dr. Jonas del Rosario, the hospital's spokesperson, told ONE News' "The Chiefs" on Wednesday that PGH has admitted 325 of the infected.

That number, he said, is already way higher than their cap of 300 beds. The hospital initially had a 250 capacity that it eventually increased as it saw more patients. 

"If we look at patients in PGH, 70% admitted are unvaccinated," Del Rosario said partly in Filipino. "So it can be a reflection of the vaccination rate that's happening in the country because a lot are still not jabbed."

Latest government figures showed there are now 13.37 million Filipinos complete with their COVID-19 shots. That is out of the target of up to 70 million this year. 

Some 18.06 million, meanwhile, have received their initial dose. 

Del Rosario added that 75% of severe to critical patients are unvaccinated. He said 85% of intubated patients were also unvaccinated. 

"Nobody from the vaccinated group has died," he said. "Most of the deaths in the ICU are unvaccinated..so it's real world evidence in PGH that a vaccinated patient has a higher chance of survival, of recovery even if they have severe disease."

Earlier this week, PGH indefinitely suspended admissions in its emergency room to tend to more coronavirus cases. Del Rosario said then only those with "life and limb" threatening emergencies would be admitted. 

He told the same television interview that apart from their ER, their ICUs are also full as well as their COVID charity and pay wards.

He added they could no longer provide additional high-flow oxygen machines and ventilators. "Some will be coming to the ER and, unfortunately, even if they need a ventilator, they need to wait until we provide another one."

"On top of that we're feeling [that] we're really spreading ourselves so thinly," Del Rosario said. "Our manpower can no longer take it and that has been one of our biggest limitations."

Among health workers there, he added 100 this August had breakthrough infections — or cases of those who contracted the disease despite full vaccination.

But Del Rosario said most of their staff who tested positive were mostly mild. There were also no critical cases and deaths, he added.

And as PGH grapples with more coronavirus patients and limited resources, the official appealed to the public to get vaccinated as soon as they can. 

"This can be a big help, in a way, to hospitals," he said in Filipino. "If you are vaccinated, that means even if you get sick, you won't require much resources and would help reduce the hospital's needs."



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