MANILA - State-run hospital East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City aims to open a new building next month that will house COVID-19 patients, one of the country's pandemic czars said Thursday.
The building can house 250 beds and 30 more in its intensive care unit, according to treatment czar Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega.
"Ito 'yung mamadaliin namin tapusin, kasi konting ano na lang, 96 percent, siguro by next month puwede na namin masabi na ito ay hospital for COVID," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(We're trying to finish this quickly, it's at 96 percent, maybe next month we can say it's a hospital for COVID-19 patients.)
The agency is preparing to convert more ICUs for virus patients in big hospitals in Metro Manila such as the Lung Center of the Philippines, he added.
The health department earlier said hospitals have reached the "danger zone" in handling COVID-19 cases, with more than 70 percent of their designated beds for virus patients full.
Public hospitals on average currently allocate 18 percent of their beds to COVID-19 patients instead of 30 percent, while private hospitals designate some 16 percent, Vega said.
"Mayroon pa ring kakulangan kaya nag-uusap kami araw-araw dito para increase ang kanilang capacity for allocation of beds," he said.
(There's still a shortage which is why we're discussing with hospitals every day to increase their capacity for allocation of beds.)
"Pangalawa, karamihan ng COVID cases natin ay mild at nagpapa-admit sa hospital. 'Pag mild cases naman po kayo at walang serious comorbidity, magpa-isolate na lang kayo sa temporary treatment facilities for 14 days. I-reserve natin yung hospital beds for moderate to severe."
(Secondly, most of our COVID cases are mild and still admitted in hospitals. If you have mild symptoms and do not have comorbidity, please isolate at temporary treatment facilities for 14 days. Let's reserve hospital beds for moderate to severe cases.)
The country on Wednesday surpassed the coronavirus tally in mainland China, where the outbreak began, as it reported 85,486 COVID-19 cases, with 26,996 recoveries and 1,962 deaths.