MANILA, Philippines — The number of admitted COVID-19 patients in some major hospitals in Metro Manila this week has doubled— even tripled — compared to previous weeks.
The COVID-19 ward at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), is currently fully occupied with 131 patients. Inside the emergency room, more coronavirus cases await admission.
The hospital management said they are likely to establish modular tents if numbers continue to rise.
“Malaki na ito, malaki na because we are worried na mapupuno na naman ang aming emergency room at saka sa room sa itaas that we may have to limit admission sa mga renal patient lamang na may COVID, kidney patient na may COVID kasi wala kaming paglalagyan na,” said NKTI executive director Dr. Rosemarie Liquete.
Meanwhile, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has 154 admitted COVID patients, almost reaching its full bed capacity of 225.
Hospital administrators have noted that most of the recent COVID-19 admissions are unvaccinated patients.
“Iyon pong mga nasa ospital po sa PGH ngayon 85% po ay unvaccinated at lahat ng nasa ICU ay unvaccinated. Kaya ibig sabihin ay talaga kung hindi ka bakunado mas malamang severe ang mararanasan mo na COVID,” said PGH spokesperson Dr. Jose Jonas Del Rosario.
At Tala Hospital in Caloocan City, the number of cases tripled from 54 last week to 165 this week.
The hospital announced that admission of non-COVID-19 patients is only until Friday (August 6) because on Monday (August 9), they are converting other rooms into COVID-19 wards.
In these three hospitals, a number of healthcare workers still contracted COVID-19 but in lower numbers than before and their symptoms are milder than those previously infected.
Hospital administrators attribute this to the fact that their healthcare workers have received COVID-19 vaccine.
Based on the contact tracing conducted among healthcare workers in Tala Hospital, infected personnel appear to have contracted the virus outside their workplaces.
“Alam mo na kung ano ginagawa sa labas. Magpa-party, pupunta ng palengke, mga family gatherings, yun ang most common na mga reasons on why maraming mga healthcare workers ang nahawa ng COVID-19,” noted Dr Alfonso Victorino Famaran, medical chief of Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (Tala Hospital).
Meanwhile, private hospitals say their bed capacity has yet to reach critical level, though similar to government hospitals, the number of COVID-19 patients coming into their care has also increased.
“Hindi pa naman karamihan yung critical yung occupancy rate. Medyo ang karamihan ngayon ay nandoon pa tayo sa mga high risk. Ibig sabihin less than 80% pa lang ang occupancy ng ibang mga ospital,” Dr. Jose Rene de Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. said.
If they decide to increase their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, they will need additional nurses to cover the job.
Hospital managements are appealing to the public to cooperate with the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to help curb virus transmission. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)