Over 3,000 COVID-19 beds added during ECQ in NCR Plus bubble — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Over 3,000 beds for COVID-19 patients have been added to healthcare facilities in the “NCR Plus” bubble when it was placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 11, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said a total of 3,156 beds were added: 164 intensive care unit beds, 2,222 regular beds for moderate and severe COVID-19 cases, and 765 isolation beds for mild and asymptomatic cases.
He added that many hospitals — private, national, and local government — have committed to add more COVID-19 beds in NCR Plus following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to PhilHealth to settle its obligations to hospitals.
The following hospitals have committed to increase their capacity:
-110 beds in Quezon Institute for moderate and severe Covid-19 cases
-960 beds in National Center for Mental Health for moderate Covid-19 cases
-330 beds in Manila Times College in Subic for mild and asymptomatic cases
-165 beds in New Clark City Tarlac for mild and asymptomatic cases
-200 beds in Eva Macapagal Terminal in Manila for mild and asymptomatic cases
-100 beds in Orion Bataan Pork Terminal for mild and asymptomatic cases
Roque said that the utilization rate of beds is now at 74.34% for COVID-19 ICU beds; 46.04% for COVID-19 ward beds; and 59.56% for COVID-19 isolation beds.
Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan, which is known as the NCR Plus bubble, will be placed under a less stringent modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting April 12 until April 30.
During this period, Roque said COVID-19 beds in isolation, quarantine and health facilities must be augmented through the joint effort of the Department of Education, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Health.
He said there must be an adequate number of COVID-19 dedicated beds, complementary health human resources, and well-coordinated triage and referral systems in place at the local government units (LGUs), isolation and quarantine facilities, and health facilities.
Hospitals should also be decongested through the partnership of hospitals with temporary treatment and monitoring facilities or step-down facilities for mild or moderate care or home care.
Furthermore, Roque urged local governments in the NCR Plus bubble to set-up their respective local telehealth triaging systems equipped with sufficient medical personnel available to provide immediate medical and patient referral advice.
LGUs should also prioritize the “generation of demand for vaccination to those with highest risk for severe disease and death, particularly Priority Groups A2 and A3 of the national deployment and vaccination plan for COVID-19,” he added.
The Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry are also directed to determine the number of employees who may need alternative work arrangements and its impact on the maximum carrying capacity of the subject area, Roque said.
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