COVID referral system receives more than 1,000 calls daily: official

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2022 03:08 PM

A health worker collects a get well soon balloon ABS-CBN News
A health worker collects a “get well soon” balloon along with other food and supply packages for patients admitted at the Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital located at the Quirino Grand Stand on January 12, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippine COVID-19 referral system receives "more than 1,120" calls per day as virus infections increased beginning end of last month, the government's treatment czar said Thursday.

This is in contrast to an average of 98 to 112 calls daily that the One Hospital Command received in the first week of December, said Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega.

In September, the center received 780 to 800 calls during a surge caused by the delta variant, Vega said.

"Ito dahil sa bagong bilang ngayon, mataas masyado, talagang dumami ang number of calls. Mga 60 percent ng calls naghahanap ng quarantine or isolation facility or nagpapa-assist sa home isolation," he said during a virtual public briefing.

(This is because of the new numbers of COVID-19 cases. It's really high. It led to an increase in the number of calls. Around 60 percent of callers seek quarantine or isolation facilities or are seeking assistance for home isolation.)

Only 15 percent of the calls were referred to hospitals and intensive care unit services, he added.

The center is also gradually increasing its number of isolation facilities for healthcare workers and the public after some ended their contracts last Dec. 31, Vega said.

"Nag-increase ho tayo ng ating number of contracted hotels for isolation at ni-reactivate ng local government units ang kanilang TTMFs (temporary treatment and monitoring facilities) to be functional again," he said.

(We increased the number of contracted hotels for isolation, and our local government units reactivated their TTMFs to be functional again.)

In Metro Manila, 3,114 or 11 percent of 26,000 medical frontliners are in isolation, Vega said.

"Manageable pa rin. Pero nag-start na rin ang ibang hospital na mag-close ng ibang services nila, OPD (outpatient department), elective surgeries," he said.

(It's still manageable. But some hospitals have closed some of their services such as OPD and elective surgeries.)

"Kaya pa po. Very manageable, despite the high rise in cases. Ang hinahanap po ngayon, ang mga isolation areas para sa kanilang mild and moderate situations."

(The cases are still very manageable despite the high rise. What we seek right now are isolation areas for those with mild and moderate situations.)

The Philippines on Wednesday logged its highest number of active cases so far at 208,164, or 6.8 percent of its total 3,058,634 COVID-19 infections.

Video courtesy of PTV