DOH: Refer mild, asymptomatic COVID-19 cases to temporary treatment centers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reminded hospitals to refer mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to temporary treatment and monitoring facilities to avoid congestion amid the recent spike in new infections in the country.
“Part po ng protocol na kapag mild at asymptomatic, ire-refer po sa temporary treatment and monitoring facility para ‘di po ma-congest ang ating hospitals,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario said in an online media forum.
(Part of our protocol is that mild and asymptomatic will be referred to a temporary treatment and monitoring facility to prevent congestion in our hospitals.)
But Vergeire clarified that this does not mean that hospitals should turn away COVID-19 patients that are not critical or severe, noting that they should still be attended to before being referred to the treatment facilities.
Meanwhile, mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients with pre-existing conditions may be allowed to be confined in hospitals as they are considered vulnerable.
The Health official advised hospitals to emulate the Philippine General Hospital, which has entered into a partnership with the temporary treatment and monitoring facility at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) regarding the transfer and care of mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.
Earlier, the DOH bared that 11 Metro Manila hospitals have declared 100% occupancy of their COVID-19-dedicated beds.
But Vergeire explained that this does not mean that the hospitals are already overwhelmed as they only have a certain number of beds designated for COVID-19 patients.
Under DOH Administrative Order No. 2020-016, released on May 4, at least 30 percent of all public and private hospital beds should be dedicated to COVID-19 cases to meet the government’s minimum health system capacity.
The DOH said it has observed an increase in infection in the past two weeks, which it attributed to the increased contact among the population as a result of the relaxing of quarantine measures.
The bulk of the new cases was recorded in Metro Manila, the country’s economic center, where movement restrictions have been eased for over a month now to restart the pandemic-hit economy.
Currently, there are 47,873 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 12,386 recoveries and 1,309 deaths.
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