MANILA - The number of COVID-19 admissions at the Philippine General Hospital has declined but majority of its remaining cases are severe, its spokesperson said Sunday.
The end-referral hospital has 228 virus patients or around 80 percent occupancy rate, down from an all-time high of nearly 350 patients, said Dr. Jonas del Rosario.
"Marami pa ring severe, usually ang nagiging pila ay yung kailangan ma-admit sa ICU (intensive care unit)," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(Many patients are severe, usually there's a long line to get admitted to the ICU.)
The ICU is "mostly occupied by the unvaccinated", who comprise 80 percent of the hospital's patients, according to Del Rosario.
"Ang mga vaccinated na na-ICU, talagang may comorbid conditions, elderly. Kung di naman matanda, marami po overweight, may sakit sa puso, may diabetes, may hypertension. Yun pong the usual cardiovascular risk factors, they really come into play pag may COVID," he said.
(Vaccinated individuals who are in the ICU have comorbid conditions, those who are overweight, have heart problems, have diabetes or hypertension, or are the elderly.)
"Kaya napakalaking bagay po na ang ating mga kababayan, hindi lang bakuna ang pang-protect sa COVID, kundi ang ating kalusugan as a whole."
(That's why our overall health matters in protecting ourselves against COVID, not just the vaccine.)
The PGH also has 15 pediatric patients confirmed with COVID-19, Del Rosario said.
"Kalahati severe, kalahati mild to moderate (Half of them are severe cases, half are mild to moderate)," he said.
The hospital will "slowly" try to open its outpatient department but consultations will be done through telemedicine, Del Rosario said.
"Mas nakakahinga kami nang kaunti. Malaking bagay din po na ang ating manpower ay naka-catch up na," he said.
(We are a bit relieved now. It's a great thing that our manpower has caught up with the number of patients.)
The PGH had shuffled its medical personnel from non-COVID to COVID wards, he said.
Nearly a month ago, Del Rosario said the PGH was already operating beyond capacity, with about 100 patients waiting then to be admitted.
He said the PGH has exceeded it 300-bed capacity for COVID-19 admissions as infections soared in the country fueled by the virulent Delta variant.
Volunteer doctors had also opted not to renew their contracts, highlighting the staffing crisis at the country's premiere COVID-19 referral facility.
In mid-August, the facility announced it was going to temporarily stop accepting sick people who are not infected with the coronavirus due to the increasing number of COVID patients.