MANILA—The COVID-19 mortality rate at Visayas' largest COVID-19 referral hospital is rising, and a majority of deaths are unvaccinated patients, an official said Thursday.
The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City has 177 active virus patients out of its 174 COVID-19 beds, according to Dr. Helen Madamba, chief implementer of the hospital's COVID-19 health facility.
Five children are in its COVID pediatric ward, Madamba added.
The hospital has recorded 47 virus-related deaths between August 1 and 8, and some of the fatalities were children, she added.
"More than 90 percent of our deaths are not vaccinated," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Binabantayan namin ang number of deaths namin kasi baka maging problema ang pag-release ng cadaver to funeral parlors atsaka paglibing sa cemeteries."
(We're monitoring the number of deaths, because we could face a problem in releasing cadavers to funeral parlors and burying them in cemeteries.)
The hospital is the end-referral center for virus patients in Cebu, Madamba said.
"Ang mga pasyente kasi kapag umaabot sa'min medyo huli na or hindi na-accommodate sa iba ibang hospitals. Oxygen-requiring ito sila," she said.
(When patients arrive here sometimes it's too late or they weren't accommodated in various hospitals. They require oxygen.)
The hospital has an oxygen plant, which can refill oxygen tanks within 2 hours, according to Madamba. It also plans to expand its capacity to 311 virus beds, 149 intensive care unit beds, 49 isolation beds, and 40 ward beds, she added.
"Unfortunately, wala kaming report nare-receive kung Delta variant ba siya pero 'yung bilis ng pagkalat ng COVID possible po talaga na Delta variant 'yan," she said.
(We did not receive a report if these cases were of the Delta variant but due to the speed of the transmission, that's possible.)
At Tondo Medical Center in Manila, a majority of severe to critical cases were also unvaccinated against COVID-19, said its medical director Dr. Maria Isabelita Estrella.
The hospital's virus beds are 76 percent occupied, while its ICU capacity was 65 percent full, she added.
"Kadalasan ng nagse-severe at critical cases dito sa ospital, mga di po bakunado," she said.
(Most of severe and critical cases here are unvaccinated.)
One of them was a health worker of the hospital who refused inoculation, Estrella said.
"Nag-severe case siya pero sa awa ng Diyos on her way to recovery na siya ngayon. Na-out na namin siya sa ICU, kino-convince na namin siya ngayon, pangalawang buhay na. Siguro it's about time na pwede ka na magpabakuna," she said.
(She had a severe case, but thank God she's now on her way to recovery. She's now out of the ICU and we're convincing her, it's her second chance at life, maybe it's time to get vaccinated.)
The Philippines on Wednesday tallied 12,021 more COVID-19 cases, the highest in more than 4 months, bringing its total to 1,688,040 infections.
Of this figure, 81,399 or 4.8 percent were active, according to the Department of Health.