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UCMed expands COVID-19 capacity, eyes accreditation on PCR testing

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | June 30,2020 - 05:43 PM

The University of Cebu Medical Center is seeking for the accreditation of its molecular laboratory as a COVID-19 testing center in Cebu. (CDN Digital File)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid the still rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Cebu, the University of Cebu Medical Center (UCMed), one of the hospitals catering to confirmed cases, has initiated adjustments to expand their capacity and services in relation to the contagion.

As of June 23, 2020, UCMed has already expanded its COVID-19-dedicated bed capacity to 91 in order to cater to more confirmed patients that need hospital care.

This was already the fourth time that the hospital added more COVID-19-dedicated beds since the start of the outbreak.

“We started with a 10-bed capacity, then increased by 65 percent (29 beds),  then increased by 52 percent (60 bed), and last June 23, we increased it by another 34 percent with an overall 91-bed expansion to date,” UCMed told CDN Digital.

Aside from expanding bed capacity, UCMed is also working on getting accreditation for its molecular laboratory in order to conduct its own COVID-19 testing using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Currently, there are only three laboratories in Cebu that run the rt-PCR test of the swab samples of suspected patients and close contacts. These are the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), Department of Health TB Reference Laboratory (TBRL), and a private hospital in Lapu-Lapu City.

READ: 4 private hospitals in Cebu await accreditation for COVID-19 test labs

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, UCMed has already catered to 796 patients in its designated emergency room for suspected, probable, and confirmed coronavirus disease patients. Of the number, 267 were admitted, where 63 tested positive.

While it adopts standard protocols to protect COVID and non-COVID patients as well as their medical staff, UCMed says it continues to review its processes and protocols to address day to day challenges in the hospital operation. /bmjo

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