Critical utilization rate in Cebu City hospitals improves, says DOH-7

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio July 15,2020 - 04:41 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) said the critical utilization rate in hospitals in Cebu City has significantly improved in the past weeks.

Critcial care utilization is the capacity of the hospital or medical facility to care for severe to critical conditions of the COVID-19 in relation to allocated COVID-19 space and number of patients.

In June 2020, the city had a critical utilization rate of 87 to 89 percent, prompting the Interagency Task Force (IATF) to raise the quarantine status of the city to an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Read: It’s back to ECQ for Cebu City

Doctor Jaime Bernadas, director of DOH-7, was glad to announce that as of July 15, 2020, the critical utilization rate has dropped to 72 percent and even lower.

The isolation bed utilization rate is currently at 58 to 62 percent, which is far from its previous 90 percent utilization rate on June 2020.

The utilization of ventilators and respiratory equipment for sever cases is currently at 21 to 25 percent.

“Tungod sa atong preparation ug expansion of beds sa atong mga hospitals mao na niincrease atong capacity. Not necessarily ninaog atong number of cases kay atong pasyente stable ani nga number, but in the past two weeks dunay decrease sa critical and severe cases,” said Bernadas.

(This is because of our expansion of beds in our hospitals, that is why the capacity increased. This does not necessarily mean that our number cases have gone down, as our patient numbers remain at a stable constant, but in the past two weeks we saw a decrease in critical and severe cases.)

Read: Critical care utilization rate in Cebu ‘stabilized’ — DOH-7

The director said the occupancy rate in the hospitals naturally decreased because  there were lesser severe cases to treat, while the hospitals also increased their bed allocation for COVID-19.

He assured that for now, the hospitals in the city can continue to serve COVID-19 patients without the fear of being overwhelmed.

“Daghan pa tag bakante. Hinaot na nga dili na sila mapuno,” said the director.

(We have a lot of vacant beds. We hope they will not be filled.)

Bernadas also emphasized the importance of opening up more beds in the hospitals for COVID-19 patients in the case that there will be a resurgence of severe cases.

He said that there is a need to encourage more hospitals to open their bed space for COVID-19 to further decrease that critical utilization rate.

Still, Beranadas said that as of now, this decrease in the admissions of COVID-19 patients coupled by the recoveries may be a factor in the downgrading of the city’s quarantine status from ECQ to general community quarantine (GCQ).

The IATF is expected to announce the quarantine status for July 16 to 30, 2020 on Wednesday night. /bmjo

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