As patients crowd hospitals, Cebu City urges public to utilize quarantine centers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government has advised patients, who are confirmed to have mild to moderate symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), not to rush to hospitals.
This as health facilities in Metro Cebu have reportedly refused to accept COVID-19 patients for admission in their respective establishments due to scarcity of beds.
Mayor Edgardo Labella urged the public, especially COVID-19 patients classified as mild and moderate cases, to isolate and have themselves treated in the city’s designated quarantine centers instead of the hospitals.
“Please do not go straight to the hospitals if you’re experiencing mild symptoms of COVID. Everyone should know there’s a protocol being followed to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed. Mild cases are recommended to be placed in quarantine centers,” said Labella in a phone interview with CDN Digital on Sunday, June 14.
The mayor said all three quarantine centers in the city had been operational but only a total of 50 individuals with COVID-19 were currently confined in them.
The three quarantine centers of Cebu City are located in Block 27 in the North Reclamation Area called the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC), the Bayanihan Field Center along General Maxilom Avenue, and the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Convention Center.
Labella said a total of 46 patients previously confined in CCQC and the Bayanihan Field Center had fully recovered and had been discharged.
“The one in NRA can accommodate up to 200. The Bayanihan has more than 40 beds while the one in IEC can take in up to 400 also. But only 50 patients are quarantined in all our centers,” he said.
“We understand that some will go directly to the hospitals because of fear after learning they are infected… But the public must be reminded that we should be following a protocol, and they should be properly informed or advised about this,” he added.
Labella was referring to the guidelines set by the Department of Health (DOH) in isolating and treating COVID-19 patients.
Asymptomatic ones will be placed under home isolation or in isolation centers while those with mild to moderate symptoms will be transferred to quarantine centers that are certified by DOH to have the capacity to treat them.
On the other hand, severe and critical cases will be prioritized in hospitals.
“We would also like to assure everyone that our quarantine centers have the necessary equipment needed for their treatment, and that doctors and nurses are assigned there to monitor their conditions,” added Labella.
On Saturday, June 13, a post from the Naga City government revealed that one of its employees who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, remained waitlisted for admission in a government hospital in Cebu City.
Officials of Naga City said private hospitals refused to admit the patient due to scarcity of beds.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH – 7) director, said hospitals in Cebu had vowed to expand their bed capacity to accommodate more patients.
Bernadas, in a series of messages sent to the media, said their agency was also working to augment human resources in medical facilities qualified to admit COVID-19 patients.
“We’re still working on these augmentation plans. We will provide the public details hopefully by tomorrow, (Monday, June 15),” said Bernadas.
As of June 12, Cebu, as an island, logged 4,381 COVID-19 cases with 2,039 recoveries. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients, who have passed away, stood at 86.
The province, including the three independent cities, are placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).
President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to make an announcement on the quarantine status of all areas in the country, including Cebu City, this Monday, June 15. /dbs
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