Hospital ‘declogging’ begins; mild cases moved to isolation facilities
MANILA, Philippines — Hospitals in Metro Manila have started to move out patients with mild and moderate COVID-19 symptoms to isolation and treatment facilities, in order to free up hospital beds for those with severe symptoms of the illness.
At the Tala Hospital (Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital) in Caloocan City, 30 healthcare workers who were found to be mild COVID-19 cases were moved to a new isolation site at New Clark City in Tarlac.
The 500-bed treatment hub at the Clark Special Economic Zone in that province was opened last week and now has about 50 patients.
A 336-bed capacity “field hospital” at Quirino Grandstand in Manila was also opened recently to accommodate mild and moderate cases.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the new facility cost P154 million and is aimed at complementing the city’s six government hospitals.
Moreno said the combined capacity of these hospitals at present is about 70 percent.
On Friday, the government will launch the Eva Macapagal Terminal as a treatment site to accommodate as many as 300 patients at Manila’s Port Area.
According to Vivencio Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the local governments in the capital region have been able to free up around 10,000 hospital beds in Metro Manila.
“We thought this was enough. But we realized how unpredictable COVID is, and those [beds] were not enough,” he said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Dizon said the DPWH plans to have 300 more vacant beds over the next two months.
He also disclosed that the Philippine Red Cross has set up tents at the Lung Center of the Philippines and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City and even on campus grounds of the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila.
According to Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, about 96 percent of the total COVID-19 cases are mild to moderate, with high chances of these patients recovering from the disease.
He said severe cases needed proper clinical management at the hospitals, while mild and moderate cases could be managed in isolation facilities or at home.
Virus case update
On Monday, 7,379 additional infections were confirmed by laboratory tests, pushing the country’s COVID-19 cases to 953,106.
The Department of Health (DOH) said 93 more people succumbed to the disease, including 20 who were previously reported as recovered, bringing the death toll to 16,141.
In a third consecutive day marked by thousands of recoveries, the DOH tagged 21,664 people as having recovered from the coronavirus disease.
This brought total recoveries to 809,959.
There are 127,006 active cases, of which 96.9 percent are mild, 1.3 percent asymptomatic, 0.48 percent moderate, 0.7 percent severe and 0.6 percent critical.
Eight laboratories were not able to submit their data in time for the latest case bulletin.
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