THE reported shortage of ward and intensive care unit (ICU) beds for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu is irrelevant to the reclassification of Cebu Province’s quarantine level, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday, August 2, 2021.
“Magkahiwalay po ang classification natin for the Province of Cebu as well as their tri-cities Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu. Hiwa-hiwalay po, hindi po sila aggregate na classification,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference Monday.
She said the de-escalation of community quarantine restrictions in Cebu Province did not negate the recommendation of the DOH data analytics team as local officials have vowed to implement granular lockdowns in areas with rising Covid-19 cases.
The DOH data analytics team had recommended modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for Cebu Province, which had been under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for almost a year, amid an uptick in Covid-19 cases.
The recommendation was adopted by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and included in its Resolution 130-A, which was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Local government units (LGU), however, may appeal for reclassification with the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
In assessing quarantine classifications, the DOH looks at the healthcare utilization rate, daily attack rate and two-week growth rate, among others.
Under IATF Resolution 130-D, Cebu Province’s appeal for a downgrade was granted, provided that granular lockdowns would be implemented. Cebu Province is now under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions until August 15.
“There are granular lockdowns that are going to happen where they implement MECQ in identified places,” Vergeire said.
“Parang hindi naman po na-negate ‘yung ating recommendation for MECQ. Nagkaroon lang ng granularity dito sa gagawin nilang pagre-restrict at iyon po ay pinayagan naman ng IATF,” she added.
The cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, however, remain under MECQ until August 15, with some private hospitals reeling under the deluge of patients seeking hospitalization.
Based on the DOH Covid-19 tracker, however, there are still available isolation, ward and ICU beds in hospitals in Cebu City and Mandaue City.
As of August 1, the tracker showed that there were still 35 ICU beds available in 15 hospitals in Cebu City. Out of 114 ICU beds, 79 or 69.3 percent were occupied.
Of the 594 isolation beds, 374 or 62.96 percent were occupied. There were still 188 ward beds available as only 127, or 40.3 percent, of the 315 ward beds are occupied.
The hospitals are Adventist Hospital - Cebu, ACE Medical Center Cebu, Camp Lapulapu Station Hospital, Cebu (Velez) General Hospital, Cebu City Medical Center, Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, Cebu North General Hospital, Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital, Perpetual Succour Hospital, Saint Vincent General Hospital, Southwestern University Medical Center, St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and Visayas Community Medical Center.
The waiting list at a Level 3 hospital, however, reached 33 on Sunday evening, according to Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak.
In Mandaue City, the facilities are Amosup Seamen’s Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital Mandaue, Cortes General Hospital, Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital, University of Cebu Medical Center, and Women’s and Children’s Community Hospital.
One of these hospitals had a waiting list of more than 20 patients as of August 1, a nurse working at the facility said.
But the DOH tracker showed that 13 out of 28 ICU beds were vacant, 80 out of 108 isolation beds were available, and 108 out of 200 ward beds were unoccupied.
In Lapu-Lapu City, the two ICU beds and 31 ward beds were all occupied while there were still five available out of 106 isolation beds.
There are only three hospitals in Lapu-Lapu City, namely, Allegiant Regional Care Hospitals, Lapu-Lapu City Hospital and Mactan Doctors Hospital. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)