Cebu City mayor denies private hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients
MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella denied on Thursday that private hospitals in the area are overwhelmed with coronavirus disease patients.
“I share with the thoughts of Sec. Cimatu. Of course our private hospitals are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, but at this point, it’s not overwhelmed,” Labella said over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“We agree that we are experiencing the surge, but I would say that it’s not actually overwhelmed at this point,” he also said.
However, Labella said augmentation from the national government for medical workers “would be very much welcome” and that it would be “better” if more health personnel will be deployed to the city.
He added that the human resource office of the city government is also hiring additional 30 to 50 nurses for public hospitals.
Labella further noted the “very effective and efficient” referral system of Cebu City for COVID-19 patients.
“One of the ways by which we can prevent overwhelming of our hospitals is our very effective and efficient referral system and I think at this point, Vicente Sotto (Memorial Medical Center) has been doing very well on that,” he said.
In an earlier television interview, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who has been appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the COVID-19 response in the city, said that there is shortage of health workers in the area as cases of infection soar.
He also described health workers in Cebu City as “overworked” and “overburdened.”
Meanwhile, Labella said that even quarantine facilities for asymptomatic, mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 in the city likewise enough.
“Cebu has enough quarantine facilities, and even at this point in time for mild and moderate cases at this point in time, the occupancy is only between 11 and 13 percent,” he said.
Cebu City has converted 52 school buildings into isolation facilities. While these facilities have a total of 2,500 bed-capacity, Labella said that only around 900 beds are occupied so far.
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