COVID-19 bed capacity still critical: Official
MANILA: Despite government assurances of taking emergency measures to ease the problem of severe lack, the bed capacity in Metro Manila hospitals remains at the “critical level” to accommodate the recent surge in COVID-19 infections, a senior official has admited.
This developed as Vice President Leni Robredo reported on Saturday that she would undergo quarantine ater her security official had tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted her to postpone her visit to the Bicol Region.
In her Facebook post, Robredo said just before she was to leave for Bicol, she received a call from a contact tracer who informed her that her security detail was found positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque revealed that six of the l6 cities and town that compose Metro Manila have reached 100 percent, or full occupancy of intensive care units (ICUS) in their hospitals.
Duque said this was the main reason why many of the COVID-19 patients brought to hospitals have been forced to wait in ambulances or makeshit emergency tents set up outside these facilities before they have been admited. “There are queues in hospitals especially among severe and critical cases,” Duque admited in a commitee hearing of the House of Representatives, but added that the hospitals admited even asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) COVID-19 patients.
In the same hearing, Duque admited that the efficacy over time of the COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out by the government remained uncertain as he explained: “For now, there is no sufficient data yet for how long the Sinovac and Astrazeneca vaccines can provide protection because these are new vaccines.”
Earlier, the government assured it has undertaken emergency measures to ease the problem by constructing modular facilities to accommodate the alarming surge in COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila and four neighboring provinces where the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) had been imposed.
But despite the increase in the bed capacity, health experts pointed out that Duque’s admission of lines of patients waiting for admission in hospitals meant it continued to remain a major problem.
On Friday, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 10,726 new COVID-19 infections, bringinng the total case count to 914971.
It reported 650 new survivors brought the number of recoveries to 705,757 while the death toll totalled 15,738 from 145 fatalities.