MANILA (UPDATE) — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said over half of the 37,000 COVID-19 beds in the country are already occupied, with 41 areas under the highest COVID-19 alert classification.
As of August 9, 58.3 percent of COVID-19 beds in the country were already full, Health Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
"Bagama't 'yung kanilang case trends ay 'di ganun kataas, 'yung kanilang health care utilization ay more than 70 percent na," she said.
(Even if their case trends are not that high, their health care utilization rate is already more than 70 percent.)
According to data from the DOH, areas under alert level 4 are as follows:
- Las Piñas
- Quezon City
- San Juan
CORDILLERA AUTONOMOUS REGION
- Baguio City
- Angeles City
- - Batangas
- Lucena City
- Cebu City
- Lapu-lapu City
- Cagayan de Oro City
- General Santos City
- South Cotabato
"It doesn't discount the fact na puwedeng may isang city na napuno na [ang hospitals]," Vergeire said.
"Lahat ng datos na binibigay ngayon points only to one thing: cases are rising," she said.
(It doesn't discount the fact that there is a city where hospitals are already full. All data we are getting point only to one thing: cases are rising.)
The DOH is urging local governments and hospitals to reserve hospitals for severe and critical COVID-19 patients, as asymptomatic cases or those experiencing mild symptoms of the disease may be treated in smaller health facilities, Vergeire said.
Metro Manila's health care utilization is at nearly 60 percent or "moderate risk," said Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, the country's COVID-19 treatment czar, in a separate interview.
"We made the necessary steps for this because we knew very well the number of intensive care units has to be improved in terms of capacity. If we do not manage them well, it will increase our case fatality rate," he told ANC's Headstart.
Private hospitals have been asked "to come up with their own innovative ways of transforming some of their wards or private rooms to be capable of handling severe and critical cases," he said.
Some hospitals have also provided online consultation and sent COVID-19 homecare kits to mild patients, he added.
The National Capital Region has been placed under enhanced community quarantine— the toughest lockdown— from August 6 to 20 to arrest the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.