Dip in cases frees up Metro Manila hospital beds for non-COVID patients

Dip in cases frees up Metro Manila hospital beds for non-COVID patients
Health workers at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute attend to patients at the triage set up at the hospital lobby on Aug. 15, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — With coronavirus cases in Metro Manila continuing to decrease, some hospitals in the National Capital Region are beginning to focus once more on patients coming in for non-COVID reasons.

In an interview aired over ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, Dr. Jonas del Rosario, spokesperson of the Philippine General Hospital, said that only 57 COVID-19 cases remain in the state-run hospital out of the 320 beds allocated for COVID-19 based on the latest census.

"That's barely 20% of our beds. This means that we now have the chance to open other wards to cater to non-COVID patients that are coming to the PGH," Del Rosario said in mixed Filipino and English. 

Del Rosario added that ICU occupancy is down by nearly half, while the hospital has administered the booster shots to about 40% of its health care workers.

According to the Department of Health's latest case tally Wednesday afternoon, hospital utilization rates in the capital region remain well under 30%, including: 

  • 28% utilization for ICU beds 
  • 22% utilization for isolation beds 
  • 20% utilization for ward beds 
  • 16% utilization for ventilators 

Wednesday's case tally also saw a positivity rate of just 2.1% among over 30,000 tests. 

"Now is the best time for other patients to go for a checkup, workup or schedule non-emergency surgery while cases are low and we have space," Dr. Norberto Francisco, pulmonary medicine specialist of the Lung Center of the Philippines, is also quoted as saying in a report by ABS-CBN News.

To date, health authorities have recorded 2.83 million cases of the coronavirus in the Philippines. Only 15,327 or less than one percent remain classified as active cases, the lowest number of active cases since June of last year. 


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