MANILA — For the past week, there were reports of patients dying in tents as hospitals remain congested with COVID-19 patients.
One of them was a 56-year-old man, who suffered a heart attack and was turned away by 30 health facilities.
Another is a patient under investigation for COVID-19 who died outside the Lung Center of the Philippines after staying in a tent for 11 hours.
When asked about such cases, the Department of Health said it is following a “referral network” of hospitals so that no patient would be neglected.
“The COVID-19 referral hospitals are expected to receive the severe cases, which will require critical care,” Dr. Beverly Ho, special assistant to the health secretary, said during a televised DOH briefing.
Among the country’s COVID-19 referral hospitals are the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Philippine General Hospital, and the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.
“Non-COVID-19 hospitals are expected to receive those mild cases and even those non-COVID cases,” Ho said.
“Hindi natin dapat kalimutan na sa panahong ito hindi lang COVID ang sakit ng mga Pilipino,” she said.
(We should not forget that at this time, there are also other illnesses affecting Filipinos.)
Despite this, there have been reports of hospitals being unable to accommodate both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
As of Friday, there are 3,018 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. Majority of them are in Metro Manila. Of the more than 3,000 cases, 52 have recovered and 136 have died.
Worldwide, there have been more than 1 million people infected with COVID-19. Of that number, 53,000 have died and more than 212,000 have already recovered.