PGH will temporarily not accept non-COVID cases: official


Posted at Aug 15 2021 08:04 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2021 09:00 AM

The facade of the Philippine General Hospital in Manila on May 5, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
The facade of the Philippine General Hospital in Manila on May 5, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' largest COVID-19 referral center will temporarily stop accepting sick people who are not infected with the coronavirus, its spokesman said Sunday.

The Philippine General Hospital so far has 262 virus patients out of its 250 bed capacity, according to Dr. Jonas del Rosario. The hospital has added 50 more beds to its COVID-19 ward, he said.

Only non-COVID "true emergencies" or "life-and-limb threatening non-COVID emergencies" such as trauma, heart attacks, or massive stroke will be accepted by PGH, he added.

"Dahil sa dumaraming bilang ng mga COVID patients, kinakailangang magbukas kami ng karagdagang lugar para sa mga ito," the government facility said in a public advisory posted on its social media account on Saturday.

(Due to the increasing number of COVID patients, we need to open some sections in the hospital for them.)

"Subalit, upang mapagtuunang mabuti ang pag-alaga sa mga may COVID, kami ay pansamantalang hindi muna tatanggap ng mga pasyenteng may ibang medikal na karamdaman na wala namang COVID," it added.

(To be able to attend to COVID patients, we will temporarily stop accepting patients without COVID.)


The hospital's adult intensive care unit with 40 beds is already full, Del Rosario said. Some 90 percent of patients occupying the ICU are unvaccinated, he added.

"Ang isang napansin namin, maliban sa vaccination status, talagang malaking bagay ang comorbidity mo, tsaka yung age," he said.

(What we've observed is aside from vaccination status, a person's comorbidity and age affects the severity of their illness.)

The 12-bed pedia COVID-19 ward meantime has 8 patients, with 4 more patients waiting to be admitted, according to Del Rosario.

"Ang maganda naman po, kahit nagiging severe o critical ang mga bata, majority po talagang nakaka-recover. It might take a longer time," he said.

(The good news is even if children become severe or critical, majority of them recover.)

The hospital has a 16 percent mortality rate for COVID patients as it receives severe to critical patients as an end-referral hospital, according to Del Rosario. It has a daily average of 3 to 4 deaths over the last 7 days, he said.

The PGH has a 6 percent mortality rate for child virus patients, he added.

All out-patient services of the hospital will be closed starting Monday, August 16, until further notice, in observance of the enhanced community quarantine and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it said in a separate notice.


The hospital's Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Cancer Institute will remain open, it added.

"Patients are encouraged to do telemedicine consultation," the PGH said.

The facility asked for public understanding on its decision and said it will promptly advise if the number of COVID-19 cases eases.

Of the 262 COVID-19 patients confined in the hospital, as of Saturday, 260 are confirmed cases, one is probable, and another one is suspected.

At the start of the month, it only had 143 confined COVID-19 patients, including one probable case. 

The Philippines has detected the more virulent COVID-19 Delta variant which was first detected in India.

More than 12.1 million individuals in the country are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, data from government showed.

- reports from Jekki Pascual and Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Watch more on iWantTFC