MANILA—The COVID-19 situation in Western Visayas is a "powder keg ready to explode," the chief of a referral medical facility in Bacolod City said Thursday.
The region's virus reproduction rate is more than 1 while its positivity rate is at 25 percent, said Dr. Julius Drilon, medical center chief of Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital.
"So from all indications we are watching this data closely and that is our basis na maghahanda pa kami sa possible surge (to prepare for a possible surge)," Drilon told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Di po natin masasabi na bumababa ang kaso dito (We can't say our cases are declining here), I would describe it as a powder keg ready to explode. I don’t want to be an alarmist but that is the reality."
The virus bed capacity at the hospital has reached 90 percent following a rise in cases over the weekend, Drilon said. The medical facility has opened another floor, he added.
"Ang non-COVID namin naapektuhan primarily because di kami makadagdag ng tao in relation sa bed allocation. Naapektuhan ang orthopedic, pediatric, at internal medicine department," he said.
(Our non-COVID wards were affected primarily because we can't add more personnel in relation to bed allocation.)
The hospital has since requested for more health workers from the Department of Health, he added.
Drilon said the increase in cases might be due to the more transmissible Delta variant. The region has tallied 179 cases of the variant, he added.
"Since August we believe the Delta variant has been roaming round hindi lang nade-detect (we just can't detect it)," he said.
The public is urged to remain vigilant and continue observing minimum public health standards, Drilon said.
"This pandemic is a marathon not a hundred-meter dash," he said.
The Philippines on Wednesday tallied 12,751 more COVID-19 cases, bringing its total infections to 2,134,005. Of this figure, 151,135 or 7.1 percent are still active infections, DOH said.