DOH: ICU beds nearly fully occupied at 14 of 21 Metro Manila hospitals

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2021 07:27 AM | Updated as of Apr 06 2021 07:50 AM

The Makati Medical Center displays a sign indicating the hospital is full at their emergency area on Monday, March 15, 2021. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA—Intensive-care unit beds at 14 out of 21 hospitals in Metro Manila is on a "critical" level or "almost 100 percent," the Department of Health said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, isolation beds at hospitals in the capital region is at "almost 80 percent," said DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

" 'Yun matataas na level na ospital ay malapit na talaga sa 100 percent ng paggamit. Pero 'yun Level 1 hospitals ay meron kama na pwede i-accommodate ang mga pasyente," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, without specifying the hospitals. 

(High level hospitals are nearing 100 percent capacity. But Level 1 hospitals still have beds that can accommodate patients.)

Vergeire reiterated that moderate, severe and critical cases should be hospitalized while mild and asymptomatic patients are referred to isolation facilities.

Home quarantine is possible but patients must consult a doctor first via telemedicine, according to Vergeire.

"Ang ideal setup would be sa quarantine facility na nagbubukas po tayo ng mas maraming kama ngayon sa Metro Manila," she said.

(The ideal setup would be a quarantine facility, which we are adding more beds in Metro Manila.)

Virus cases are expected to rise as the agency will apply rapid antigen tests in communities with a high rate of COVID-19 transmission, Vergeire added.

"Expectedly tataas ang numero ng ating mga kaso at bibilis ang pagtetest natin at makaka-identify tayo ng mas maraming positibo kung sakali," she said.

(The number of cases is expected to rise as our testing would be faster and we can identify more positive cases.)

The saliva test should be covered by state insurer PhilHealth as it is also the same process as gold standard RT-PCR, Vergeire said.

"Ito po naman po ay RT-PCR kasi, so definitely dapat covered siya ng PhilHealth. Ang nabago lang ay specimen. Laway na ang ginagamit instead na magsswab sa ilong o bibig," she said.

(RT-PCR test must be covered by PhilHealth. The specimen is the only thing that changed, saliva and not a nasal or oral swab.)

The Philippines as of Monday tallied 8,355 more coronavirus infections, taking its total to 803,398 cases since the pandemic began. 

It is expected to reach 1 million cases by end of the month, according to independent research group OCTA.

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