Saturday, October 23, 2021

2 hospitals in Metro Manila declare full capacity for Covid-19

(UPDATED) Two private hospitals in Metro Manila announced Monday, July 13, 2020, that they have reached full capacity for Covid-19 patients and are no longer able to accommodate more patients who may have contracted the novel coronavirus.

St. Luke’s Medical Center advised critically ill Covid-19 suspect patients to seek treatment in other hospitals as intensive care unit (ICU) beds allotted for such patients in its two facilities are all occupied.

Both St. Luke’s facilities in Quezon City and Global City in Taguig are, however, still able to accommodate patients diagnosed with illnesses other than the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Makati Medical Center (MMC) also declared full capacity for Covid-19 patients after reviewing its bed utilization, particularly for critical care, and consulting with its Covid-19 medical team.

The hospital said it has attended to tens of thousands of Covid-19 suspect cases since February.

“To cope with the surge, MMC has augmented its physical and manpower resources to accommodate more patients, hired new recruits, and closed some areas to supplement workforce in other vital units,” the hospital said.

“The Covid-19 zones of MMC, both the regular wards and the critical care units, and especially the emergency room, are now full,” it added.

Like St. Luke’s, MMC also advised Covid-19 suspect cases that they will be referred to another healthcare facility.

The two hospitals issued their advisories a few hours after Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said occupancy of critical care beds for Covid-19 is rising.

In its case bulletin Monday, the DOH said ICU beds utilization increased to 46 percent as of July 12.

Vega said during the virtual press conference at Malacañang Monday that 43.7 percent, or 573, of the ICU beds were occupied as of July 8.

There are a total of 1,349 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients nationwide.

Based on the DOH case bulletin on Monday, three of every 1,000 (0.3 percent) Covid-19 patients are critically ill while four of every 1,000 patients (0.4 percent) are severely ill.

The DOH also reported an increase in utilization of isolation beds to 45.7 percent, or 4,658, of the total 10,183 beds nationwide as of July 12.

Of the 3,413 ward beds, 1,772 or 51.9 percent were occupied.

Out of the 1,943 ventilators, DOH said 1,496 or 77 percent were in use as of Sunday.

Vega, former hospital chief of the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao, said DOH is setting up a One Hospital Command that will monitor critical care utilization in hospitals and direct severely or critically ill patients to available facilities.

He said the agency is enforcing an administrative order that mandates private hospitals to increase the number of beds for Covid-19 patients to 30 percent of their capacity.

Government hospitals are also required to expand Covid-19 capacity to up to 80 percent of their total capacity.

The government, on the other hand, should provide additional healthcare personnel for both public and private hospitals.

These are the immediate steps that the government is taking to improve capacity to treat severely and critically ill Covid-19 patients, Vega said.

The government is also working on improving coordination between hospitals and temporary treatment facilities, he added. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)


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