MANILA — The BBM-Sara UniTeam has called on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to issue guidelines for the expansion of home care for COVID-19 patients with mild cases at the soonest time possible.
Presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. and his running-mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte made the call amid reports that the healthcare utilization rate in Metro Manila is nearing moderate risk due to the recent increase in Covid19 cases driven by both Omicron and Delta variants.
The tandem warned that preventive measures should be immediately undertaken to prevent overwhelming the country’s health care system especially as public and private hospitals in Metro Manila are already feeling the spike in the number of cases with healthcare workers also among those being infected with Covid19.
“With experts saying that the National Capital Region is expected to break records, recording to as high as 20,000 daily cases, we have to do something immediately to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed. Mas mahihirapan tayo kung marami sa mga ospital ang magsasara temporarily dahil marami sa mga staff nila ang nainfect dahil sa exposure sa mga cases,” they said.
The duo noted that the IATF should immediately act on the Department of Health’s proposal to issue guidelines for home care for mild cases that will be subject to monitoring by Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams since this will prevent the choking of hospitals.
“Makakatulong ito ng malaki para hindi mapuno ang ating mga ospital, lalo’t lumalabas na mas mild ang mga kaso ng Omicron kumpara sa Delta variant although mas mabilis nga lang itong makahawa. Nananawagan din kami sa ating mga kababayan na ibayuhin ang pagsunod sa mga health protocols at iwasan ang paglabas-labas ng bahay hangga’t maaari,” they said
The DOH reported that it is monitoring the healthcare utilization rate in Metro Manila which is nearing moderate risk with a 50 to 70% threshold of the utilization rate of the healthcare capacity.
Some hospitals in Metro Manila have already announced the closure of some of their services due to the surge in Covid19 cases, while others have noted longer waiting times for seeking medical consultation in their emergency rooms due to the influx of patients.
The National Kidney and TranspIant Institute announced that it will close its outpatient services starting January 7, Friday, until further notice. The Philippine General Hospital will be closing its maternity ward for two days amid a surge in Covid-19 patients and a shortage of hospital staff.
The Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center in Manila was earlier prompted to temporarily stop accepting services in its emergency room and laboratory after 50 staff tested positive for the virus.
The Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium in Caloocan City, one of the COVID hospitals, also closed its outpatient department and emergency room services to convert them into Covid wards as their cases rose from 25 to 163 after the New Year. Some 26 personnel were also found positive for Covid19.
The Ospital ng Malabon was also placed on lockdown from Jan. 2 to Jan. 4 after 19 of its employees tested positive for the virus. Covid cases in the hospital also more than doubled, from 100 before Christmas to 240 active cases as of this week.
Meanwhile, St. Luke’s Medical Center has announced that it is experiencing a surge of patients both in its Quezon City and Global City branches hence ER queues for Covid-19 cases are taking longer than usual.
The Lung Center of the Philippines also announced that almost half of the dedicated beds for Covid19 patients are now occupied. Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City also noticed an increase in the demand for Covid testing in its facility after the holiday season. (ai/mtvn)