PH private hospitals brace for possible COVID-19 spike due to Omicron

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2021 02:51 PM

 Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words
Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken Nov. 27, 2021. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/File

MANILA—A group of private hospitals is preparing for a possible spike in COVID-19 infections over fears of the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

Dr. Jose Rene De Grano, president of Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc, said there are now ample supplies of oxygen and vacant beds amid a drop in COVID-19 cases in the country.

"Handa po ang mga private hospitals kung magkaroon man ulit ng mga bagong surge o bagong cases ng COVID," he told TeleRadyo Wednesday.

(Private hospitals are prepared in case there will be a surge or new cases of COVID.)

South Africa reported the Omicron variant to the World Health Organization on Nov. 24. 

While much is still unknown about the new variant, the agency believes its high number of mutations may make it more transmissible or resistant to vaccines.

A number of countries, including the Philippines, has closed its borders to prevent the spread of Omicron.

STAY IN ALERT LEVEL 2

As of Nov. 29, some 8,153 out of 28,482 hospital beds are occupied, data from the Department of Health showed.

Some 1,116 out of 1,291 health facilities are considered at the "safe" level, which means less than 60 percent of their capacity are occupied. Only 30 facilities were tagged as "critical”, or more than 85 percent occupied.

De Grano noted though there were still more than 7,000 COVID-19 patients currently admitted in private hospitals despite declining virus cases.

As the Omicron variant has spread to some parts of the world, he said majority of the country should stay under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 until year-end.

Metro Manila and many other provinces are placed under looser quarantine restrictions until Dec. 15.

"Siguro ang pagbababa sa [Alertl] Level 1 hindi pa po dapat natin gawin right now," he said.

(I think downgrading to Alert Level 1 should not be done right now.)

On Tuesday, the country reported 425 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest daily tally so far this year. The tally includes 15,800 active cases and 48,545 fatalities.

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