PHAPI: Hospitals ready for possible surge in COVID-19 cases

Mico Abarro, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2021 09:53 PM

MANILA - The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. or PHAPI said on Wednesday that its member hospitals are ready in case of a spike in COVID-19 cases amid the threat of the omicron variant. 

PHAPI President Dr. Jose Rene De Grano told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo that the group observed a slight rise in new infections. 

"Yan po siguro ay epekto ng dahil parang ang ating mga kababayan eh sabik na sabik na lumalabas," he said. "Kahit pupunta kayo sa lahat ng mga malls, mga areas na outdoor, punong-puno po ng tao at parang hindi po nasusunod minsan yung social distancing." 

(It's probably the effect of people wanting to get out so badly. If you go to any mall or outdoor areas, you'll see that they're full of people and it's as if social distancing is not followed sometimes.) 

He also said that although the omicron variant was reported to cause less severe disease, there is no way of knowing how an individual's body would respond to an infection. 

"Handa po naman sila lagi. Kahit po temporary sinara po muna nila yung mga COVID beds at pumunta po sila sa mga non-COVID areas, nakahanda naman po sila kung sakaling dumami po ulit ang ating mga pasyente ng COVID," he said of the hospitals. 

"Ang nakakatakot lang po niyan ay 'pag nagkaroon ng surge, to the point na sosobra po sa mga bed allocation natin." 

(The hospitals are always ready. Even if they temporarily closed their COVID beds and had their staff go to non-COVID areas, they are ready in case the number of COVID patients increases. What's scary is if it exceeds our bed allocations.) 

On Wednesday, the health department reported 889 new COVID-19 cases, the highest since November 27. The day's 4.5 percent positivity rate is also the highest since Nov. 10, while the number of active cases breached 10,000. 

De Grano said that hospitals are on "red alert" to address a potential spike in firecracker-related injuries during the New Year's celebration. According to him, some hospitals were also asking their staff not to go on leave in case admissions surged.

"Manood na lang po tayo, matipid pa," he said. "Kase kung bibili ka ng mga paputok, eh kapag naiputok na po yun, wala na, ubos na yung binili niyo diyan. Eh kung ibibili niyo na lang ng pagkain, mas maganda pa yung mga prutas na pansalubong natin sa bagong taon." 

(Let's just watch fireworks, it would save us money as well. Because if you buy firecrackers, all the money you spent on them will be gone once you fire them off. You can instead use that money to buy food, and it's better to get fruits to welcome the new year with.)

The health department reported 19 firecracker-related injuries as of Dec. 27. It said this was higher than the number of injuries recorded during the same period last year. 

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