PGH coronavirus patients exceed initial bed capacity: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2020 07:45 AM | Updated as of Jul 09 2020 07:53 AM

A nurse checks on a patient who has recovered from the COVID-19 coronavirus as he undergoes a procedure to donate plasma at a hospital in Manila on April 22, 2020. Maria Tan, Agence France-Presse/File

MANILA — The number of coronavirus patients at the Philippine General Hospital has exceeded its initial bed allocation for the respiratory disease, an official said Thursday.

The state-run hospital had allocated 130 beds for COVID-19 patients. It now has 172 coronavirus patients, including 145 with positive test results, 22 suspected carriers and 5 probable, said PGH public affairs coordinator Dr. Jonas Del Rosario.

This figure is the highest COVID-19 admission since PGH became a referral center for the disease in March, he said.

To accommodate virus patients, the PGH used "buffer beds" in non-COVID-19 wards, he said.

"Talagang inaayos namin iyong pagkaka-arrange ng mga pasyente. Hindi puwedeng maghalo ang COVID at non-COVID," he told DZMM.

(We are fixing the arrangement of the patients. COVID and non-COVID patients cannot mix.)

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Del Rosario said the spike in patient admission might be due to the Philippines' increased testing capacity and eased lockdowns.

The PGH as of Thursday only had 3 to 4 vacant beds in its intensive care unit. The hospital will only accept COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe symptoms, he said.

PGH's supply of protective gear and medicines is "enough", he added.

Less than 2 percent of its 5,000 workers were infected with coronavirus so far. They are recovering at the hospital, Del Rosario said.

He urged patients who had recovered from the disease to donate their plasma, in hopes that the donor's antibodies will speed up the recipient's recovery.

The PGH previously used plasma treatment only for patients with severe symptoms and would now try giving it to those with moderate symptoms. Interested donors may call hotline 155-200, said Del Rosario.

— With a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News