More COVID-19 beds needed in Visayas and Mindanao

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — More hospital beds for COVID patients are still needed in the Visayas and Mindanao, where cases continue to rise, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama said cases are still on the rise in three regions in the Visayas and five in Mindanao.

“These regions have been showing positive two-week growth rates and because of this, we need to scale up our response,” Dumama said in a press briefing.

He said there are more than 39,000 hospital beds for COVID patients in Visayas and Mindanao.

Public hospitals allocated 41 percent of their beds for COVID cases while private hospitals designated 34 percent.

“These are still not enough, especially for Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Davao region, Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City),” he said .

Dumama cited the need to ramp up the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

He said as of June 19, occupancy rates in the Visayas and Mindanao for intensive care unit beds was 56.87 percent, 47.22 percent for isolation beds and 46.79 percent for ward beds.

Usage rate for mechanical ventilators was 36 percent, Dumama said.

Asked if COVID variants are driving the rise in the cases, Dumama said this is possible considering the speed of the increase.

“At the rate cases are increasing, we may suspect that but we don’t have evidence on that,” he said.

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