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More COVID-19 step-down care facilities pushed to decongest hospitals

/ 09:13 AM August 26, 2021
The government has reopened three former large quarantine sites as "step-down care facilities" for COVID-19 patients in order to decongest hospitals, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

This file photo shows the Ninoy Aquino Stadium at Rizal Coliseum in Manila City that was turned into a quarantine facility. INQUIRER FILE/MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s COVID-19 treatment czar is pushing for the creation of more step-down care facilities where recovering patients can be transferred in order to decongest hospitals.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said Thursday that not all hospitals have step-down care facilities.

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“Nilalawakan namin ang pag-uugnay ng mga hospitals na magkaroon ng step-down care kasi kung walang step-down care mapupuno talaga ‘yan,” he told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

(We are expanding our coordination with hospitals so that they would have step-down care facilities because hospitals will really be full without it)

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“Kung matutupad lang na talagang ‘yung mild and moderate [cases] ay nasa TTMF (temporary treatment and isolation facilities), at makakasiguro ang hospitals na meron silang step-down care para kung magrerecuperate na ang pasyente ay mapunta na doon, luluwag talaga ang mga hospital. ‘Yun nga lang hindi pa lahat ay nakakagawa noon,” he added.

(If the mild and moderate cases are taken to TTMFs, and we can ensure that hospitals have step-down care facilities so that recuperating patients will be taken there, hospitals will be decongested. However, not all hospitals have step-down care facilities.)

Usec. Leopoldo Vega

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega (file photo)

Vega said patients with mild COVID-19 should only be in TTMFs so that there would be more space for patients needing intensive care in hospitals.

He noted that 98 percent of the country’s active cases are mild, asymptomatic and moderate.In March, the government reopened three large quarantine sites such as the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the City of Manila and the Quezon Institute in Quezon City as step-down care facilities for COVID-19 patients in order to decongest hospitals.

Based on the DOH’s case bulletin on Wednesday, 72 percent of ICU beds, 62 percent of isolation beds, 68 percent of ward beds, and 54 percent of ventilators are currently utilized.

The country currently has 125,378 active COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday.

RELATED STORY:

PhilHealth to unveil benefit packages for mild, moderate COVID-19 patients on home isolation

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