MANILA—The largest coronavirus referral center in Mindanao is operating at full capacity for a week now due to a surge in COVID-19 infections, its hospital chief said Tuesday.
The occupancy rate at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City remains at critical level as its 620 beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients are occupied, Dr. Ricardo Audan told Teleradyo.
"Full capacity for a week na. Tawag nga namin perfect score. Ito 'yung perfect score na hindi maganda," he said.
(It's full capacity for a week now. We call it a perfect score but not in the best way.)
The hospital's 517 ward beds and 103 ICU beds are currently filled as the SPMC receives between 20 to 50 patients daily, Audan said.
Many of the COVID patients had not received the COVID-19 vaccines.
"Karamihan na na-admit sa amin are unvaccinated. In fact, 'yung mortality namin are unvaccinated. Importante talaga na mabakunahan," Audan said.
(Many of those admitted are unvaccinated. In fact, our mortalities are unvaccinated. That's why it's important to receive vaccination.)
"Ina-assume na namin this is the Delta variant kasi 'yung characteristics niya ang bilis ng transmission, ang bilis makahawa," he added.
(We already assumed this is the Delta variant because its characteristics are fast transmission and infection.)
Once the condition of patients improves and they do not show flu-like symptoms for 3 days straight, the SPMC discharges them in order to accommodate new COVID-19 cases, he said.
The SPMC chief admitted they were also struggling due to staff shortage as some nurses resigned to go abroad. He noted they were able to hire 15 new workers who just recently passed the licensure examinations.
"Hindi na kami ganun kaestrikto sa aplikante. Kahit na no experience, basta licensed nurse ka, pasok ka sa amin," Audan said.
(We are not anymore that strict on applicants. Even if you have no experience, as long as you are a licensed nurse, you are accepted.)