Bacolod needs more doctors, hospital staff, says mayor
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Mayor Evelio Leonardia is appealing to the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) Against COVID-19 to send a team of doctors and medical workers to augment the city’s health-care personnel as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase.
Leonardia said local hospitals needed at least six doctors for a referral facility, 288 nurses for the city’s emergency treatment center and isolation areas, 18 radiology technicians, 26 medical technologists, 24 respiratory therapists and 30 housekeeping staff.
“The serious shortage of nurses and health-care workers, especially in private hospitals, is still a problem,” Leonardia said in his letter to the NIATF, noting that additional personnel would enable the full operation of hospital isolation units in the city.
Em Ang, city administrator and executive director of the city’s Emergency Operations Center, said the availability of functional hospital isolation rooms remained to be “the biggest challenge” as it continued its contact tracing and targeted testing to identify and isolate infected residents.
A 32-bed referral or isolation center being built by the Department of Public Works and Highways in Barangay Alijis will help ease hospital congestion, Ang said.
At least 154 COVID-19 patients were being treated in Bacolod hospitals as of Oct. 4.
The Western Visayas Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) on COVID-19 has suspended the arrival of stranded residents in Negros Occidental from Oct. 3 to Oct. 9, with Philippine National Police halting the issuance of travel passes during that period. Those bound for Bacolod, however, may enter through the Bacolod Silay Airport.
The RIATF approved the request of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson for a moratorium due to congestion and nonavailability of quarantine units. He said the moratorium would allow authorities to decongest, disinfect and prepare quarantine areas for the new batch of returning residents.
Western Visayas had recorded 12,490 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, according to the Department of Health in the region.Bacolod posted the most number of cases at 4,213, followed by Negros Occidental (3,277), Iloilo City (2,802), Iloilo province (1,384), Capiz (527), Guimaras (151), Aklan (122) and Antique (64).
—Reports from Carla Gomez and Nestor Corrales
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