COVID-19 beds at PGH now 80 percent filled

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2021 12:11 PM

COVID-19 beds at PGH now 80 percent filled 1
Philippine General Hospital, June 8, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The country's largest COVID-19 referral center is near full capacity, its spokesperson said Monday, as 80 percent of beds allocated for coronavirus patients are filled up.

Dr. Jonas Del Rosario, spokesperson of Philippine General Hospital, said there are 177 patients currently admitted in the hospital for the disease. PGH has a 200-bed capacity for COVID-19 patients.

He said the hospital normally received between 7 to 10 COVID-19 patients daily.

"Hindi napapauwi kaagad. Usually 'pag na-admit sa COVID ay minimum 14 days. Kaya minsan matagal din sila. Hindi kagaya ng ibang sakit na minsan mabilis ang turnover. Kung sila ay severe or critical, mas matagal pa," Del Rosario said.

(They can't immediately go home. When usually admitted for COVID, the minimum is 14 days. That's why they stay longer. Unlike other disease there's a quick turnover. If they are in severe or critical [condition], it's much longer.)

He said they would be opening up a new ward to add an additional 30 beds for COVID-19 patients.

Amid surge in COVID-19 admission, the PGH has downscaled its non-coronavirus operations. The hospital also asked its doctors to suspend elective procedures or surgeries for 2 weeks.

From March 1 to March 20, some 177 health-care workers in PGH have contracted the virus, Del Rosario said. This include all medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and administrative and support staff.

"Hindi naman po 'yan sabay-sabay. Kumbaga over the course of almost 3 weeks. Napakabilis po ng pangyayaring ito dahil for the first time 177 napakalaking number," he added.

(This didn't happen simultaneously but over the course of almost 3 weeks. It happened so fast because for the first time 177 is such a huge number.)

Most of them are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic while some are admitted in the hospital, Del Rosario said.

"Most of them nahawa sa communities. It shows na hindi spared ang health-care workers sa mga nangyayari sa kani-kanilang barangay o pagbiyahe from and to hospital, minsan nagpa-public transpo," he added.

(Most of them were infected in their communities. It shows our health-care workers are not spared from what's happening in their respective villages or traveling from and to the hospital sometimes using the public transportation.)

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President Rodrigo Duterte already placed the National Capital Region and 4 of its neighboring provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning Monday until April 4, with additional measures, to slow down the spread of COVID-19. 

Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are placed under GCQ with additional specific restrictions amid the spike in new COVID-19 cases, as recommended by the inter-agency task force, said his spokesman Harry Roque.

"Magkakaroon po tayo ng parang bubble dito sa NCR at probinsya ng Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna at Rizal... Pupuwede kayong bumiyahe anywhere freely between... these areas. Pero hindi pupuwedeng lumabas, hindi puwedeng pumasok. Ipatutupad po natin iyan sa pamamagitan ng checkpoints," he added.

(NCR, together with the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, will be in a bubble... Anyone authorized to travel in these areas can do so freely. But you can't go out, and nobody can get in. We will have checkpoints to implement this.)