One Hospital Command Center under ‘a lot of strain’ due to COVID-19 surge
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s One Hospital Command Center is currently facing “a lot of strain” due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, with nearly 400 calls being received daily, treatment czar Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said.
“Because of this surge, the One Hospital Command is experiencing a lot of strain,” Vega said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday. The One Hospital Command is a centralized COVID-19 referral center.
According to Vega, the center used to only receive an average of 68 to 70 calls back in February.
“But now we’re receiving almost 400 calls per day. It kind of overwhelms also the number of agents that are going to refer patients to the different hospitals,” he said.
“This is one of the weaknesses that we have and we are seeking the understanding and the patience of the public that we’re trying to improve more the command center so we can respond to and serve the public better,” he added.
More field hospitals
Vega added that the government is expanding the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients by constructing field hospitals, which would usually take the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 45 days to put up.
“The one in the Lung Center [of the Philippines] has just been operated, the 44-bed field hospital,” he said.
The Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City has also been expanded with a 44-bed field hospital, Vega noted.
“This April 8 we are going to operationalize the Quezon City Institute modular hospital to be managed by Jose Reyes [Memorial Medical Hospital],” he said.
“This is something that we are really trying to expand because the number, especially the allocated beds here for COVID is not enough to cover the surge that we have. This is roughly more than we saw in August of 2020,” he added.
Since last week, the country has been logging record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 infections, the highest being 10,016 new cases reported on Monday, March 29.
On Tuesday, the Philippines recorded 9,296 additional cases, pushing the country’s total to 741,181. Of this number, 124, 680 are active cases.
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