MANILA - Amid the pandemic, there are still non-coronavirus but critically ill patients who still need treatment and are still admitted in Philippine hospitals, and are at risk of contracting COVID-19, Vice President Leni Robredo said Monday.
Robredo said that cancer patients or kidney disease patients who need dialysis still need to be treated with urgency amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, but in safer facilities.
"Ilagay sila sa isang facility na sobra, sobrang safe," she said in an interview with entertainment journalist G3 San Diego.
(Put them in a facility that is really, really safe.)
She said such patients are at a high risk of being exposed to the coronavirus especially when most major hospitals in the Philippines are already swamped with COVID-19 cases.
"[Delikado] yung exposure, lalo na kasi silent ang ating kalaban," she said.
(The exposure is dangerous, especially since our enemy is silent.)
A study published last May showed people with cancer are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than those without it.
The data on more than 900 patients in the US, Canada and Spain which appeared in a paper in The Lancet, found that mortality increased the further the cancer had progressed.
Robredo called on government to set up a program for severely sick patients to separate them from COVID-19 cases in hospitals throughout the Philippines.
"Mga kailangan na talaga treatments, 'yung mga kailangan lumabas for treatment, kailangan gawan ng program," she said.
(Those who need treatment, those who need to go outside for treatment, should be entered into a program.)
Experts have warned officials worldwide of the devastating effects of the disease on non-coronavirus patients who are critically ill. Most of recorded fatalities due to the pathogen had pre-existing conditions that worsened when they were infected.
As of Monday, the Philippines has logged 342,816 total COVID-19 cases, with 293,152 recovered patients and 6,332 coronavirus-related deaths.