Isko Moreno: Only severe, critical COVID-19 patients will be admitted in Manila hospitals
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Monday announced a policy shift in the city’s utilization of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients amid the Omicron variant surge that saw the biggest number of infections in a single day at more than 33,000.
Under a new directive issued by Moreno to hospital directors, the Manila Health Department and the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), only Covid-19 patients who are severe or critical will be admitted in the six city hospitals.
Likewise, Covid-positive patients who have mild symptoms but have underlying conditions and in need of proper hospital care would be admitted.
“Para naman sa ganun, magamit natin yung ospital for its original purpose – bigyan ng tamang atensyon yung ibang sakit na dumadapo sa ating mga kababayan, tulad ng cancer, sakit sa puso, mga diabetic o nagangailangan ng dialysis, naganganak o yung mga sanggol,” Moreno said.
The six Manila district hospitals are: Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Hospital (150-200 bed capacity), Ospital ng Tondo (50 beds), Justice Abad Santos Medical Center (150 beds), Ospital ng Sampaloc (50 beds), Sta. Ana Hospital (200 beds), the New Ospital ng Maynila (384-bed capacity with 12 intensive care units and 30 private rooms). The seventh is the Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital with 344-bed capacity.
Those who are asymptomatic or experiencing very mild symptoms will be asked to just isolate themselves in their homes if they have available space.
For those who do not have spaces for proper isolation, they would be taken to the city’s various quarantine facilities, including the newly-built quarantine facility at the Araullo High School located in Taft Avenue corner United Nations Avenue.
Moreno said the purpose of the policy is for an efficient utilization of resources amid the expected volume of Covid infection, as well as to keep hospitals open for other patients experiencing other ailments other than Covid-19.
“Kasi po pag bubuhos nang bubuhos ang pagtanggap ng Covid-19 patients na mild but healthy persons, ay mauubusan po tayo ng espasyo at resources para sa ibang mga sakit. Ito po ay magdudulot ng pagkasawi ng ating mga kababayan na hindi naman Covid-19. They need also ample care o proper care,” the 47-year-old presidential aspirant said.
Moreno’s pronouncements were bolstered by data from the Philippine Statistics Authority which showed that deaths due to COVID-19 virus identified only accounted for 5.7 percent of the total deaths recorded nationwide from January to June 2021, making it the fifth leading cause of death for that period, behind ischaemic heart diseases (18.7%); cerebrovascular diseases (10.2%); Neoplasms or “cancer” (9.0%); and diabetes mellitus (6.5%).
Additionally, Moreno said people in vaccination facilities and those awaiting results for their RT-PCR test may also experience a slowness in the pace of vaccination and the reporting of results because many frontliners have also been infected by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.
Moreno assured that as far as the City of Manila is concerned, “there is much resources that are still available.”
Molnupiravir stock replenished
Meanwhile, the Manila city government has just received an additional 20,000 Molnupiravir tablets to replenish its stocks after more than 30,000 of the tablets were freely given to Covid-positive individuals with mild to moderate symptoms all over Luzon.
Another 20,000 Molnupiravir tablets are expected to arrive either Monday or Tuesday.
Mayor Isko reassured that all anti-Covid drugs in the city’s arsenal are available for free to “anybody” who needed them.
“When I say anybody, any human being. Open policy ang Maynila mabuhay lang ang tao – sa gamot, sa bakuna, sa swab test, libre po lahat hangga’t kaya natin. Yayakapin natin ang kaya nating yakapin lalo ng yung mga walang pera, yung mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan, yung mga walang pambili ng gamot to sustain yung good health nila” Moreno said.
“Basta umasa kayo na may gobyerno sa Maynila. Hindi namin kayo iiwan. Andito po kami. Mag-iingat po kayo lahat,” he added.
70-day extension for filing of business permits
Amid the Omicron-driven Covid-19 surge hitting the country, especially the National Capital Region, MMoreno Domagoso on Monday extended the filing of business permits until March 31 in support to the city’s business sector.
“As a matter of support ng City Government of Manila sa ating mga negosyante, gumaan man lamang yung pakiramdam nila, at makapatuloy silang makapag-negosyo sa Lungsod at patuloy na makapagbigay ng trabaho sa mga kababayan natin sa Lungsod, we asked the City Council, and thanks to our Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and Majority Floor leader Joel Chua, to extend the filing of renewal ng ating business permit,” he said during a media briefing Monday afternoon.
“Under Resolution 289, the deadline for the filing of business permit is now until March 31,” Moreno said. He said extending the deadline was necessary to prevent the influx of local traders who wanted to beat the original January 20 deadline to avoid incurring penalties.
Moreno added that it is also a means to show Manila businessmen that the city government is a listening and understanding government.
“Huwag na po kayong mag-alala, marami pong nagre-request na negosyante sa amin dahil natatakot silang magpunta ngayon para mag renew ng kanilang mga business permit. Ayaw naman natin silang i-penalize. So, bilang pang-unawa ng ating Pamahalaang Lungsod, ito po ang pagdinig ng Lungsod ng Maynila sa inyong kahilingan,” Moreno said.
“Ako naman, bilang pamahalaan, sapat na yung nagbayad sila ng buwis. Yung kagaanan, yun lang ang maibigay natin. Hindi naman tayo after doon sa mga penalty. Ang gusto natin, tuloy ang negosyo nila, makapamuhay sila ng maayos sa pagnenegosyo para patuloy silang makapagbigay ng trabaho sa ating mga taga-lungsod,” he added.
To further facilitate the filing of business permits amid the Covid-19 surge, Moreno said traders can file online through www.gomanila.com and avail of online payment systems like the payment system at selected SM outlets, or at the city hall portal.
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