MANILA—Baguio City is recording a significant increase in COVID-19 cases linked to the more contagious Delta variant, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Thursday.
"Mataas talaga 'yung ating daily cases ngayon. Nag-aaverage kami ngayon ng nasa 270 to 280. Projection nga namin is aabot pa 'yan ng mga 300," Magalong told Teleradyo.
(Our daily cases now is really high. We are averaging 270 to 280. Our projection is it will reach up to 300.)
The Summer Capital is under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until Thursday.
As of September 29, Baguio has tallied 24,365 COVID-19 cases, of which 487 patients have died. Of the figure, some 4,526 are active cases.
"We started the surge August 20 and umabot na rin ng (it has reached) 1 month and 1 week, and we expect the surge will continue until siguro mga 3 weeks pa or another 4 weeks (3 to 4 more weeks)," he said.
Magalong also expressed concern that the city's 5 hospitals were strained with COVID-19 admissions.
Department of Health data as of September 28 showed that the hospital occupancy rate in the city was at 90.1 percent. Some 355 COVID-19 beds were filled while 39 remained vacant.
The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Baguio Medical Center, Notre Dame De Chartres Hospital and St. Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart were tagged as critical, which means more than 85 percent of its capacity were occupied.
The Pines City Doctor's Hospital, meanwhile, was considered high risk or it is 70 to 80 percent occupied.
Magalong called on the Department of Health and Food and Drug Administration to allow some hospitals to use antiviral drug remdesivir.
In April, the FDA clarified that remdesivir has no certificate of product registration in the Philippines.
"Remdesivir is used in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization," the agency said in an advisory.
"Recently, the FDA granted Compassionate Special Permits (CSP) for Remdesivir as requested by medical specialists for the treatment of COVID-19 patients."
A CSP is a special permit granted to physicians or hospitals to use investigational drugs or drugs, which are not yet registered or in the process of registration here in the country for the treatment of seriously ill patients.
The FDA said a CSP could only be requested by physicians in charge or by the institution where patients are being treated, who takes full responsibility for the use and dispensing of the requested drug product.
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