GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The occupancy rate in hospitals catering to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in South Cotabato has already reached the “danger zone” as active cases in the province breached the 1,000-mark over the weekend.
South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said Monday the hospitals catering to confirmed and probable patients in the area are now “almost full” due to the increasing admissions in the past several days.
He said the situation was mainly due to the “alarming” spike of Covid-19 cases, which reached a total of 591 in just six days or from June 1 to 6.
As of 6 p.m. Sunday, the active cases in the province already reached a total of 1,106, the highest in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).
The confirmed cases in the area since last year have reached a total of 4,504, with 107 related deaths and 3,291 recoveries.
“As our cases increased, the hospital admissions also surged, which was alarming because most of them are already full,” Tamayo said in his radio program “Ang Gobernador kag ang Katawhan (The Governor and the People)”.
The latest data from the Integrated Provincial Health Office showed that the occupancy rate in the province’s six Covid-19 referral hospitals has reached 95.83 percent, with the intensive care unit (ICU) facilities fully utilized.
It said the dialysis slots for Covid-19 positive patients are 50 percent occupied while 45.5 percent of the mechanical ventilators are in use.
The province has a total of 96 allotted Covid-19 hospital beds, 10 ICU facilities, two dialysis slots, and 11 mechanical ventilators.
The six referral facilities are the Dr. Arturo P. Pingoy Medical Center, South Cotabato Provincial Hospital (SCPH), and Allah Valley Medical Specialists’ Center in Koronadal City; Soccsksargen General Hospital (SGH) and Landero Clinic and Hospital in Surallah; and, Howard Hubbard Memorial Hospital in Polomolok.
Tamayo confirmed that some private hospitals already have waiting lists for patient admission due to their limited capacities.
To address the problem, he said they are continually expanding the capacity of the Covid-19 treatment center at the SCPH to accommodate additional patients.
“We’re doing our best to admit all patients who need hospital care and treatment,” the governor said.
He said they are also working on the opening of additional beds at the SGH pending its planned full turnover to the Department of Health-Region 12 before the end of the year.
The local government is also pushing for the hospital’s accreditation with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. to facilitate the processing of claims for Covid-19 patients, he added. (PNA)