95 pct of COVID-19 patients in San Lazaro Hospital still unvaccinated, says official

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2021 08:07 PM

MANILA - An official of the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila on Thursday said a vast majority of the COVID-19 patients they are treating are so far unvaccinated from the respiratory disease, just as their coronavirus admissions also saw a slight increase.

According to Dr. Rontgene Solante, San Lazaro Hospital's chief of Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine unit, there are currently 43 COVID-19 patients admitted at the hospital, of whom over 95 percent are still not immunized from the virus. 

Half of their COVID-19 patients, meanwhile, are senior citizens, many of whom supposedly have comorbidities.

“As of now, medyo tumataas konti (ang COVID cases) based on the number of admissions on a daily basis and total number of cases, compared to two weeks ago. But the increase in cases, we don’t yet consider this as overwhelming," Solante told ABS-CBN News.

(Our cases saw a slight increase.) 

Their COVID-19 bed capacity is at 150, but occupancy has yet to reach 100, he noted.

Some fully vaccinated healthcare workers, he said, also contracted COVID-19, but experienced only mild symptoms. 

He stressed the need for the public to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of hospitalization and even death from the coronavirus.

“Napakaimportante (magpabakuna). Ang mga naa-admit ngayon sa ospital ay ang mga unvaccinated, plus those with comorbidities and who are more than 60 years old. Sila talaga ang napupunta sa ospital... Most of those admitted here do not have vaccines.”

(Vaccination is important, since those who are admitted recently in our hospital are still unvaccinated and have comorbidites, most especially those who are 60 years old above. They are the type of people mostly admitted in our hospital.)

Solante said they have already sent samples of the COVID-19 patients to the Philippine Genome Center for genome sequencing, so it is unclear yet if those who tested positive for the virus are carriers of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

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Amid local transmission of the more contagious variant, Solante said the San Lazaro Hospital is prepared for a “possible surge.”

“We are prepared for any increase in the cases in the coming days. We do regular inventory of PPEs, medications, including the capability of (health care workers)… Ang mga gamot like remdesivir, steroids, the hospital is doing the work to procure it. Okay naman so far,” he said.

The health department last week confirmed that there is already a local transmission of the Delta variant, which is being tagged as behind the surge in infections in India and Indonesia. 

Based on ABS-CBN News' monitoring, the government has been able to administer 18.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Wednesday, of which 11,431,705 are first doses. 

A total of 7,277,312 people, meanwhile, are fully vaccinated from COVID-19, accounting for 12.55 percent of the minimum 58 million target by yearend. 

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 1.57 million COVID-19 infections, over 56,000 are still active.

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