Makati pleads for state help as hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2021 02:22 PM

Makati pleads for state help as hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients 1
Pedestrians cross the intersection of Makati Avenue and Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City on Jan. 28, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Makati City on Wednesday appealed for help from the national government as its hospitals are crowded with COVID-19 patients due to a surge in coronavirus infections.

"The local initiatives are not sufficient that's why we are hoping that the national [government] will help us with the isolation facilities, which was the arrangement last year," Makati City Mayor Abby Binay told ANC. 

"Unfortunately, even the national isolation and quarantine facilities are already full."

City-run Ospital ng Makati and private hospital Makati Medical Center already reached full capacity for COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks, the mayor said.

"We still have people on the wait list. They are in the ER (emergency room) but they don't have a bed," she said. 

On Tuesday, Makati City recorded an additional 129 active cases or patients deemed infectious, raising its tally to 1,072. The city has so far logged more than 14,000 coronavirus infections, of which nearly 12,500 recovered while 480 died.

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Binay said medical staff have also been stretched thin a year into the pandemic as some became sick with COVID-19.

She also lamented that some nurse applicants didn't push through with their applications due to fear of contracting the virus.

"We have an opening for nurses and doctors but no one wants to apply... A lot of people are scared, even the medical practitioners, to come to work or even apply for the job. So, it's very difficult," she said.

"I think it's unfair also to keep on expecting so much from the LGU (local government unit) and those are situations that are not peculiar to Makati but is currently being experienced across the country," she added.

The city mayor said any LGU has a lot on their plate, such as vaccinations, addressing the spike, and now, the distribution of cash aid to those affected by the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine.

For Makati City, the one-time financial assistance will be given as cash to its 517,000 low-income residents through electronic transaction.

"For me to be able to repack for 517,000 recipients, if I plan to give it in-kind that's in 1 week, I think that's not logistically possible," Binay said.