Cebu City hospitals run out of beds for COVID-19 patients
CEBU CITY—The city’s hospitals have run out of space for COVID-19 patients, prompting the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas to request the health facilities to dedicate more beds for those infected with SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional DOH director, said hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, especially in the city, had all been filled up.
But hospitals, he said, can increase the number of slots for COVID-19 patients by using beds meant for non-COVID-19 cases.
“We see that there is really an increase number of admissions,” said Bernadas. “But it doesn’t mean that the hospitals cannot accommodate them anymore,” said Bernadas at an online press conference on Thursday (June 11) evening.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, he said Cebu hospitals declared the number of beds and intensive care units (ICU) intended for those infected with the virus.
In the last two months, Bernadas said hospitals tried to reduce the number of beds because of “lower admission rates.” “So now that we are having an increase in the number of admissions, the hospitals are trying to regain those slots for COVID-19 patients,” he said.
A number of people have complained about the shortage in hospital beds for COVID-19 patients or those suspected to have contracted coronavirus in Cebu City.
One of them was the daughter of Pardo Barangay Captain Manolita “Litang” Abarquez who narrated on Facebook her family’s terrible experience of looking for a hospital room or an ICU facility for her mother who eventually died last Saturday (June 6) on suspicion of COVID-19.
In the past few weeks, Bernadas said the family noticed an increase of cases with symptoms of COVID-19 which needed medical attention.
Most COVID-19 cases in Cebu City, however, were those of patients without symptoms.
As of June 10, the entire island of Cebu has recorded 4,228 COVID-19 cases—3,439 in Cebu City, 324 in Cebu province, 320 in Mandaue City, 145 in Lapu-Lapu City.
In a visit to Cebu on Thursday, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the Philippines’ COVID-19 response, praised the measures that local government units and private entities in Cebu had taken to fight the disease.
“Even if the cases are increasing, we still see that the health care response, particularly in the hospitals here, is beautiful,” he said.
Galvez, however, refused to divulge his recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte on whether to ease quarantine restrictions in Cebu City and Cebu province which are on general community quarantine.
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