Authorities, hospitals in provinces told to brace for rise in COVID cases

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2022 03:06 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2022 09:50 PM

Health workers spend time outside the emergency room of San Juan De Dios Hospital in Pasay City on January 12, 2022. The sudden increase of COVID-19 cases this year has caused some hospitals in Metro Manila to declare full capacity. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Health workers spend time outside the emergency room of San Juan De Dios Hospital in Pasay City on January 12, 2022. The sudden increase of COVID-19 cases this year has caused some hospitals in Metro Manila to declare full capacity. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - All regions and local governments have been directed to prepare for an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health said Friday after more areas were escalated to Alert Level 4.

Public hospitals must increase their COVID-19 bed capacity to 50 percent of their total beds, while private facilities must allot at least 30 percent of beds for virus patients, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

"Kailangan na rin pong mag-stockpile ng kinakailangang gamot sa pagma-manage ng COVID cases," she told reporters.

(Hospitals need to stockpile on medicines used for managing COVID cases.)

Local governments must intensify their PDITR (Prevent, Detect, Isolation, Treat, Reintegration) efforts and ramp up their vaccination, Vergeire added.

The effect of high vaccination rate against COVID-19 can be seen in Metro Manila, where majority of cases were asymptomatic to mild, according to Vergeire.

"Nakita ho natin kung gaano kadami ang kaso natin it's 4 to 6 times more compared than Delta experience, pero kaibahan ngayon, noong Delta punong-puno ang ospital," she said.

(Even though our cases increased and it's 4 to 6 times more compared during the Delta experience, the difference is then hospitals were full.)

"Ngayon po kahit tumaas nang husto ang mga kaso, ang ating ICU (intensive care unit) beds, ang severe at critical ay hindi tumataas."

(Now, even if our cases increased, our ICU beds, the number of critical and severe patients weren't high.)

Vergeire reiterated that further studies are needed to say that the number of virus cases in the capital region was declining.

"We don't not look at only the number of cases pag tayo ay nagaanalisa (when we analyze)...Bagamat bumababa po ang mga kaso nakikita po nating ubod ng taas ang positivity rate sa NCR (National Capital Region)," she said.

(Even though cases are decreasing, the NCR still has a high positivity rate.)

"Pag-aralan natin nang mas maigi makita na talagang bumabababa ang trends. Let us not get complacent, pareho pa rin ang dapat ginagawang proteksyon."

(Let's study this further to see if the trends are really declining. Let us not get complacent, let's keep the same level of protection.)

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