Hospitals and crematoriums in Biñan, Laguna are getting full as COVID-19 cases continued to rise, its mayor said on Wednesday.
The city south of Manila has 413 active coronavirus infections, including 78 cases recorded on Tuesday. Biñan in the past weeks only tallied 20 to 25 new cases a day, said Mayor Walfredo "Arman" Dimaguila Jr.
"Lahat po ng mga hospital dito, pati po ang mga private hospitals, ay talagang punuan na rin po," he said in a televised public briefing.
(All hospitals here, including private hospitals, are really full.)
At the Ospital ng Biñan, authorities set up an extension at its parking lot to treat COVID-19 sufferers. But some elderly patients and those with comorbidity die because the respiratory disease had worsened before they are rushed to hospital, Dimaguila said.
"Ang tingin ko, sana mali ako, pero hindi naman talaga nati-test kung Delta 'yong mga cases," said the mayor, referring to the highly contagious COVID-19 variant first detected in India.
"Pero kakaiba ang COVID na nandirito ngayon sa Laguna, mas mabilis po siyang makahawa," he added.
(I think, I hope I am wrong, but cases are not being tested whether they are Delta or not. But the COVID here in Laguna is unusual, it spreads more quickly.)
Many Biñan residents, he noted, work in Metro Manila.
The health department has detected cases of the Delta variant in all cities and the lone municipality of the capital region.
Dimaguila said Biñan's crematoriums, which offer lower rates and serve other towns, are also getting "overwhelmed."
It normally takes 3 to 4 hours for crematoriums to process each body, and these establishments received 8 to 10 remains on Tuesday alone, he said.
"Hangga't maaari po inuuna po namin 'yong mga kababayan namin. Kaya lang po, hindi naman namin puwedeng tanggihan [ang mga taga-ibang bayan]," the mayor said.
"Tomorrow or the next day after tomorrow, madi-deliver na po 'yong freezer na aming in-order dahil na-overwhelm din 'yong aming crematorium."
(As much as possible, we prioritize those from our city, but we cannot refuse those from other areas. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, the freezer that we ordered would arrive because our crematorium is getting overwhelmed.)
But Dimaguila assured residents that cemeteries and columbaria in the city had enough space, and Biñan is unlikely to resort to mass graves for now.
CASH AID, VACCINES
Laguna is under the toughest lockdown level, the enhanced community quarantine, at least until Aug. 20 to curb the spread of COVID-19 cases.
Biñan on Thursday will start distributing lockdown cash aid house-to-house, said its mayor.
The local chief executive said he has written the national government to request more COVID-19 shots, a shortage of which forced Biñan to halt its roving vaccination and some inoculation sites, Dimaguila said.
"Maraming gusto nang magpabakuna, marami nang pila," he said. "Ang problema lang talaga natin, tulad ng problema ng ibang LGUs, ay kulang pa ang dating ng supply. Sinasabihan ko po ang mga kababayan namin, mag-antabay lang po."
(Many want to get vaccinated and line up. Our problem, like other LGUs, is the delivery of the supply is insufficient. I am telling our constituents to stand by.)