COVID-19 referral center gets around 500 calls a day as infections climb

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 27 2021 01:06 PM

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The Philippine COVID-19 referral system said on Friday it was receiving about 500 calls for help daily, as coronavirus infections in the country soared. 

The One Hospital Command Center only received about 120 calls daily in the first week of July, said COVID-19 treatment "czar" and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega.

"Talagang tumataas," he said in a televised public briefing. "Kinakaya po namin ‘yong aming number of calls compared noong July. 

"Meron kaming better connectivity saka visibility sa mga hospitals na kung saan po puwede ma-transfer o ma-coordinate ang mga pasyente," he added. 

(These are really going up. We cope with the number of calls compared to July. We have better connectivity and visibility with hospitals, where patients could be transferred and coordinated)

In Metro Manila, about 77 percent of ICU beds were occupied as of Aug. 25, while 71 percent of ward beds were in use, according to the health department's online tracker. 

Vega said while the region's general ICU utilization rate is at high risk, "Meron talagang cities dito sa Metro Manila na critical na po, lalong-lalo na sa intensive care unit." 

(There are cities here in Metro Manila which are already critical, especially in terms of intensive care units.) 

To decongest hospitals, they are encouraged to establish "step down" facilities where recovering patients or those with mild symptoms could be transferred, he said. 

The Philippines has so far confirmed about 1.89 million COVID-19 cases, including about 131,921 active infections. 

Authorities are scrambling to curb community transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 linked to the recent spike in cases of the respiratory disease.