With low COVID-19 cases, some NCR hospitals focus on non-coronavirus patients

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2021 11:57 AM

MANILA— Many hospitals in Metro Manila are now focusing on non-COVID patients as the number of coronavirus cases continue to decline.

Dr. Jonas del Rosario, spokesman of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), said that based on the latest census, they now only have 57 COVID-19 cases in their facility out of the 320 beds allocated for COVID.

“That’s barely 20 percent of our bed. Ang ibig sabihin nito, nagkaroon kami ng pagkakataon na buksan 'yung ibang wards para ma-cater ang non-COVID patients na napakaraming dumarating sa PGH ngayon,” said Del Rosario. 

(This means that we now have the chance to open other wards to cater to non-COVID patients that are coming to the PGH.)

He said their ICU occupancy is also down by half, which he said is a good sign.

“Sana hindi na magaya nung Delta surge at hopefully mas maingat tayo ngayon habang tayo ay nage-enjoy sa holidays at nag-ease up ang restrictions. I think ituloy muna ang pagmamaskara, iwasan masyadong siksikan para talagang tuloy-tuloy na masayang pasko natin,” he said.

(We hope that we don’t see another surge and hopefully we’ll be more careful while enjoying the holidays and restrictions continue to ease up. I think we need to continue wearing face masks, avoid crowded places to ensure that we’ll have a Merry Christmas.) 

In an interview on TeleRadyo, Del Rosario said they have also administered the booster shots to about 40 percent of their health care workers.

“Within the next few weeks target na ma-booster na lahat ng health care workers natin,” he said.

The situation is the same at the Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium.

Dr. Alfonso Victorino Famaran Jr., medical center chief of the hospital, said their total of COVID-19 cases is now down to 35 from a high of 460 during the surge.

“Bukas na ang aming emergency medicine department, outpatient department, naga-admit na rin po kami ng non-COVID patients po,” said Famaran.

(Our emergency medicine department, outpatient department are now open and we have started admitting non-COVID patients.)

The hospital currently has three health workers with COVID-19 but are only experiencing mild symptoms. The hospital has administered booster shots to 60 percent of its health workers so far.
 
Meanwhile, the Lung Center of the Philippines said their COVID beds are now down to 32 percent of total capacity. They have allotted one ward with 57 beds that is also an ICU-capable area for COVID-19 patients.

The decrease in the number of COVID patients have allowed health workers to at least recharge, said one doctor at the hospital.
 
“Thirteen lang ang pasyente namin ngayon. Ang atmosphere po mas relaxed po ngayon at may konting pahinga. Break lang, recharge po,” said Dr. Norberto Francisco, pulmonary medicine specialist of the Lung Center of the Philippines.
 
(We only have 13 patients now. The atmosphere here is more relaxed and we can rest a bit. Take a break, recharge.)

Almost 1,000 health workers of the hospital have received their booster shots, said Francisco.

They are also using the time to convert their COVID wards into non-COVID wards.

“Now is the best time para 'yung ibang pasyente natin na iba 'yung sakit ay makapag-checkup, makapag-work up o 'yung iba na may schedule na non-emergency surgery now is the best time to have it dahil mababa ang kaso at saka may space tayo," he said.

(Now is the best time for other patients to go for a checkup, workup or schedule non-emergency surgery while cases are low and we have space.)

On Wednesday, the Philippines reported 500 new COVID-19 cases. Of the 2,833,038 total recorded cases, 15,327 or 0.5 percent were active infections.