Cobonpue debunks viral message claiming Chong Hua reached 'alarming levels'

Kenneth Cobonpue. (SunStar photo)

AN OFFICIAL of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-Central Visayas has debunked a viral message spreading online of a doctor claiming that the situation at Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City is reaching "alarming levels" and that an off-site field center is already full.

"For the past six weeks, the average occupancy of Covid-19 patients in Chong Hua Hospital is 60 patients. Is it overflowing? No," Kenneth Cobonpue, RDC Chairman, said.

He said the number of Covid-19 admissions per day in Chong Hua Hospital is at five to eight patients per day since early May.

Cobonpue added it is not the same alarming level of more than 10 new Covid admissions per day in the hospital when the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) started in March.

He said the only reason why there is a seemingly higher number of Covid-19 patients in the recent days is because of the backlog of retests of patients before their discharge, coupled with the confirmatory testing of patients about to undergo elective surgery.

"In other words, some of these patients are just waiting to be discharged safely. With the newly increased capacity of both the VSMMC (Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center) and DOH TBRL (Department of Health TB Reference Laboratory) labs, this backlog is now being addressed," Cobonpue said.

The RDC chairman added that there are other offsite centers handling Covid-19 patients. However, the capacities are being bloated by the viral message.

Cobonpue said the Ateneo de Cebu-Sacred Heart School (SHS) Bayanihan Center currently has 40 patients currently admitted to its 48-bed capacity, including five new admissions on Saturday, May 30. Ten patients have reportedly been discharged over the past week.

The 130-bed capacity Bayanihan Center at the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) building in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City is still vacant while the newly built field center at the North Reclamation Area (NRA), with a capacity of 166 beds, will be ready in a few days.

He said the centers were made in anticipation of a spike of Covid-positive residents, especially since mass rapid community testing were made.

"We understand the concern now that GCQ (general community quarantine) is about to take effect in Cebu tomorrow (June 1). People should definitely continue to take the necessary precautions when they leave their homes and continue to only do so when it is needed. We should never be complacent," Cobonpue said.

"Let’s all be careful not to spread unverified and potentially misleading information that adds to everyone’s fear. We all need to learn to live with this virus, at least, until a vaccine arrives," he added. (WBS)


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