MANILA - The Philippine General Hospital has recorded its lowest number of virus patients in more than a year, its spokesman said Friday.
The country's largest COVID-19 referral center now only has 54 confirmed virus patients, according to Dr. Jonas del Rosario. It was able to close 3 of its 4 COVID-19 wards and open these to non-virus patients, he said.
"The one good news I was the told, for the last 2 days we have not admitted anybody with COVID. Our numbers are continuously going down," he told ANC's Headstart.
"Double digit numbers are really a rare occurrence in PGH and who knows maybe in the next few days or weeks we will be down to the 20s, and that’s good news because we can now open our hospital to non-COVID patients."
Del Rosario attributed the decline in virus cases to herd immunity achieved in Metro Manila. At least 50 percent of the capital region's eligible population has been fully vaccinated, authorities earlier said.
"I think that’s a big part of it, a lot of people got vaccinated. I’m sure there are also a lot of people who got COVID...they developed natural immunity. I would say it’s really the herd immunity we achieved for the last 3-4 months," he said.
Government is urged to increase health workers' salary and invest in medical facility infrastructures as preparation, according to Del Rosario.
"We might have all the equipment, all the rooms, if we do not have the people to man the hospital then we’re still limited to the number of patients we can take care of," he said.
"Maybe now that there’s this lull, maybe we can look into dedicating a big hospital maybe like what Wuhan did. Try to identify or make a hospital for this crisis, for a pandemic, so even if it happens you already have a hospital."
The Philippines has fully vaccinated 36.9 individuals, while 51.8 million others have received an initial dose as of Wednesday, according to data gathered by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
It inoculated some 7.6 million during the 3-day national vaccination drive, prompting local governments to extend until Friday and another run from Dec. 15 to 17.