DOH-7 assures hospital utilization rates at manageable levels

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | August 03,2020 - 07:25 PM
DOH - 7 assures hospital utilization rates at manageable levels


CEBU CITY, Philippines — Health officials in Central Visayas assured the public that critical care utilization rates in the region are now at manageable levels.

This as hospitals and health care workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) have raised concerns of being overwhelmed by a surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, prompting the Malacañang to heed their request of reverting parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, to a stricter mode of community quarantine.

READ MORE: Medical frontliners to gov’t: ‘Time-out,’ revert Mega Manila back to ECQ

“Maybe at the very beginning, yes (our healthcare workers wanted a timeout) but right now, our health care workers are being taken care of by various sectors helping us out,” Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH – 7), said.

Citing data from their department, Loreche said they documented over 400 medical frontliners in Central Visayas who have been afflicted with COVID-19.

However, she said the figures only represent around five percent of the region’s total number of medical professionals who are now fighting the pandemic on the frontlines.

“And of this number, I believe some have already recovered,” said Loreche.

“On the other hand, since we are only one country, we pray that they (NCR) may be able to find a solution, and perhaps they can learn some things from us, to address this,” she added.

It can be recalled that Cebu City, which was considered as the epicenter of the outbreak in Central Visayas, was placed back to the strictest form of community quarantine last June 16 due to high transmission rate, and COVID-19 patients crowding in understaffed hospitals.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) intervened to help local officials here in their response towards the epidemic.

Cebu City was recently downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ) on August 1, and is expected to last until August 15.

READ MORE: Cebu City downgraded to GCQ

Critical care utilization rates 

In the meantime, the DOH-7 official said hospital utilization rates in Central Visayas had started to improve as they continued to report a lower number of new COVID-19 cases.

According to Loreche, critical care utilization rates of all public and private hospitals in the region, from Level 1 to Level 3, presently range from 49 to 52 percent.

She attributed this development to more individuals willing to be tested for possible COVID infection, transferring confirmed patients with no and/or mild symptoms from hospitals to isolation centers, and the increase in COVID-dedicated beds from privately owned hospitals.

Based on the statistics presented by DOH-7 to members of the media, a total of 1,014 additional hospital beds in the region have been allocated specifically for COVID-19 patients.

Loreche also said all medical institutions now had enough number of health care workers needed to attend to all patients.

“As you can see, all these things helped in lowering our cases as well as our critical care utilization rates,” added Loreche.

Data from DOH- 7 showed that as of August 2, Central Visayas has documented a total of 16,586 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 9, 657 recoveries, and 845 mortalities.

Health officials are now monitoring a total of 6,075 active cases or patients who are yet to recover from the infection.

Majority of the active cases, or 4,281 out of 6,075, were placed under home isolation which would mean these individuals were either asymptomatic or have mild to moderate symptoms. The number of those under hospital care, meanwhile, stood at 1,795. /dbs

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TAGS: Cebu City under GCQ, COVID-19 in Central Visayas, Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), DOH-7, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, MECQ
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