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ICU utilization rate in Metro Manila going down — treatment czar

/ 10:18 AM May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The utilization rate for intensive care units (ICU) in Metro Manila hospitals is going down amid the allocation of more beds for COVID-19 patients needing critical care, the country’s treatment czar said Monday.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said the overall healthcare utilization (HCUR) in Metro Manila is low risk at 50 to 51 percent, but added that the figure is higher if only ICU occupancy in the region will be considered.

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“Generally if you take a look at the HCUR which is merely the aggregate, or the sum usage rate of the COVID-19 beds, ICU beds, isolation beds, and the ventilators, you’d see a 50 to 51 percent utilization. That is at the low risk position,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel when asked about hospital bed occupancy in Metro Manila.

“But if you try to disaggregate and look at the data on ICU, it is still quite busy up there. It’s 66 percent with some of the areas, specifically in San Juan, Pasay, Makati, it’s still in a critical risk position. But there is now a downward trend in terms of HCUR in ICU,” he added.

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As of April 18, the ICU utilization in Metro Manila, considered the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, is at 84 percent, according to data from the Department of Health (DOH).

Vega said the ICU utilization in the capital region has decreased after some hospitals transformed their isolation beds into critical care beds.

“We’ve also opened up the modular field hospitals to take care of the critical situation. So roughly, we are seeing a downward trend,” he added.

Previously, the DOH said healthcare utilization should be lower than 50 percent for the government to consider placing the NCR Plus under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The quarantine status in Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan, or the so-called NCR Plus, was downgraded from the previous modified enhanced community quarantine to GCQ “with heightened restrictions” amid lower new daily cases being reported by the DOH.

JE

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Department of Health, healthcare utilization, leopoldo vega
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