Despite rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, occupancy in most private hospitals still 'manageable'

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2021 09:09 PM

MANILA - The occupancy rate in most of the country's private hospitals is still manageable, despite an increase in COVID-19 admissions, the president of the hospitals group said Tuesday.

According to Dr. Jose Rene De Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, the occupancy rate in most private hospitals is between 40 to 50 percent, except in some areas in the National Capital Region and in Central Visayas.

"Totoo po 'yun, hindi pa naman tayo nasa critical level right now. Tumaas po talaga nang at least 15 percent 'yung mga admissions ng COVID-19 cases. Pero 'yung mga grabe, hindi naman po nag-o-occupy ng mga ICU," he told TeleRadyo.

(That's true, we are not yet in the critical level. COVID-19 admissions increased by at least 15 percent, but the severe cases do not usually occupy ICUs [intensive care units].)

"Sa buong Pilipinas po, nasa 40 percent to 50 percent ang occupancy. Pero may mga areas po, tulad ng National Capital Region, sa mga cities ng Pasay, Malabon, Makati, medyo nandoon po sila sa mga high-risk level ano, nasa 70 percent," De Grano added.

(In the whole country, occupancy rates are at 40 to 50 percent. But there are cities, like in the National Capital Region, in cities like Pasay, Malabon, Makati, they are at the high-risk level, around 70 percent.)

De Grano also said the situation right now is still manageable, at least in private hospitals.

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The Department of Health earlier noted an increase of COVID-19 admissions in hospitals in Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley and Central Visayas, adding that capacity of public and private medical facilities in these areas are still under "moderate-risk" level.

The country's hospitals last year declared full capacity as coronavirus cases surged, prompting healthcare workers to appeal to government for a timeout.

There is an ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, specifically in the NCR, which officials and experts attribute to increased movement of people amid relaxed restrictions, complacency of many, and possibly the more transmissible COVID-19 variants.

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has recorded a total of 600,428 COVID-19 cases, of which, 41,822 are active, 12,528 led to deaths, and 546,078 are recoveries.

The country logged its first case on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.

The government kicked off the country's COVID-19 vaccination program last March 1.