Dagupan starts injecting seniors with coronavirus vaccines
DAGUPAN CITY—The city government started injecting coronavirus vaccines into senior citizens on Wednesday (March 31) with a 97-year-old woman and her 67-year-old son getting the first shots.
The city had finished injecting at least 6,000 health workers, which signalled the start of injections for the second group on the priority list, senior citizens.
The city is grappling with an average of two to three COVID-19 cases daily in recent days but this was feared to rise because of a spike in infections outside Pangasinan province, according to Mayor Brian Lim.
“Based on our experience, COVID-19 cases first swell in the National Capital Region and major cities like Cebu and Davao,” Lim said at the meeting of the city peace and order council last Monday (March 29).
“But after a few weeks, there was a spike in the other provinces,” he said.
“This does not mean that we will not have a spike in the near future. In fact, we should already expect it. Our mentality is we should prepare for it,” the mayor said.
Lim said because of lack of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in Metro Manila, patients there are already being transferred to the provinces, as far as the two Camarines provinces, Albay, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.
“There is no law that can stop this because it’s a humanitarian issue. If there is ICU, patients will be brought there. hospitals are obligated to admit them.,” Lim said.
Region I Medical Center (RIMC) chief Joseph Roland Mejia said the hospital’s doors are open to patients who cannot be accommodated in Metro Manila hospitals.
“We already have two patients from a Manila hospital, who are luckily improving,” he said.
But admitting patients would still need consent of the local government units and pass through stringent protocols.
“If they pass the protocols and the LGU accepts them, we cannot refuse especially if there are available beds,” Mejia said.
The RIMC currently has 41 COVID-19 patients or fewer than its capacity of 120 beds for COVID-19.
A 60-bed building for the disease is under construction and will be ready after two months, while another 200-bed building will be constructed.
“If there will be influx of patients, we will have to close the private wards to accommodate them,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.