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Metro Manila hospitals reaching full capacity for COVID-19 patients

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Metro Manila hospitals reaching full capacity for COVID-19 patients
Health workers use up the remaining 200 doses AstraZeneca vaccines for the staff of Amang Rodriguez Hospital at Marikina Sport Center in Marikina City on Friday, March 19, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:41 p.m., March 24) — With coronavirus cases steadily on the rise in Metro Manila, the capital region's hospitals are starting to feel the crunch as total bed and intensive care units for COVID-19 patients near full capacity.   

Health officials recorded 8,019 additional COVID- 19 infections earlier Monday afternoon, bringing the national caseload to 671,792. The number set a record high in daily coronavirus additions in the country, which has been on lockdown for 370 days—the longest quarantine in the world. 

In separate advisories issued Monday, the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa and The Medical City in Pasig reported being at full capacity status for coronavirus patients. 

"We are advising all suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 patients to seek urgent care in other institutions in the meantime," the former said in a statement. 

Citing figures from Dr. Edwin Dimatatac, director of Ospital ng Muntinlupa, Muntinlupa City Information Officer Tez Navarro also told Philstar.com in a text message that the city's hospital had reached 111% of its total capacity and 94% for coronavirus patients. 

St. Luke's Medical Center also released an advisory earlier Monday informing the public that the COVID-19 ward and ICU units of its two hospitals in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City have reached full capacity. The two hospitals are still able to service non-COVID-19 cases.

As of Saturday evening, the Quezon City General Hospital also reported being at 111% of its capacity for its coronavirus intensive care unit, while its COVID-19 ward was at 103% capacity.

According to the city government's public information office, the Novaliches District Hospital is also at an 84.3% occupancy rate for coronavirus patients. 

"Once confirmed positive, [we] transfer the patients to COVID facilities like QCGH and Lung Center. However, we have 10-bed makeshift facility ward located at the parking lot and 22-bed COVID Ward in the third floor of the hospital," the PIO also told reporters in a text message.  

The Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital also in Quezon City said, too, that its general nursing units had reached 125% occupancy rates with over 500 confirmed cases of the pathogen.  

In its case tally issued Monday afternoon, the DOH said that only 53% of the country's 1,900  total ICU beds are being utilized. It added that just  41% of the 13,500 total isolation beds are also being used. 

On Tuesday, the Pasig City COVID-19 Referral Center registered a 93% occupancy rate—87% of which were positive coronavirus cases—with just nine beds left. 

"Feels like July 2020 again. Let's all do our part," Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto tweeted. 

"If you can stay at home, stay home. If you have extra money, ordering food/goods for delivery helps the economy while you stay safe."

Bed occupancy rates are only nearing capacity in San Juan City, meanwhile. 

According to figures from San Juan City public information chief Brian Geli sent to Philstar.com, San Juan Medical Center is at 48.9% bed occupancy rate. 

The city's Kalinga Center is at 84.2% capacity, however, while the isolation facility at the San Juan National High School is at 61.1%.

"Hindi pa kami kinakapos, but we are already preparing and we are about to open an additional quarantine facility in partnership with DPWH. We will be using container vans with 26 units, each with their own aircondition, toilet and bath,” San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said in a statement sent to reporters.

  

As it currently stands, the Department of Health requires hospitals to allocate at least 30% of beds for coronavirus patients. Earlier on in the pandemic, the solution of the government's inter-agency task force for pandemic response was to retrofit state-owned concert halls and stadiums into quarantine venue to increase patient capacity. 

On Sunday, the OCTA Research Group projected that hospitals within the capital region would reach capacity by Holy Week if the national  government fails to slow down transmission.

Later that day, President Rodrigo Duterte approved proposals to put up the so-called "NCR Plus bubble" in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.  

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

COVID-19

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

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