By Jel Santos
Private hospitals in the country are prepared for the surge in suspected cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), an official of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines (PHAPi) said.
Rustico Jimenez, PHAPi president, said that private hospitals in the country have the capability to accommodate suspected cases of the 2019-nCoV ARD as they all have infection isolation rooms.
“Ready po ang mga private hospitals, and of course, we have to listen to all the announcements of DOH and WHO dahil sila ang nakakaintindi rito. Huwag po tayo makikinig sa unconfirmed news (Private hospitals are ready, and of course we have to listen to all the announcements of DOH and WHO (World Health Organization), because they are the ones who fully understand this. Let us not listen to unconfirmed news),” he said.
He said private hospitals are being required by the Department of Health (DOH) to have isolation rooms for patients with infectious diseases.
“Sa private hospitals, required po ito na mayroon kang infectious room in case na may dumating na pasyente ay doon mo siya dadalhin para limited lang po ‘yung mga exposed na mga empleyado and then they are protected by [Personal Protective Equipment or PPE] (Private hospitals are being required to have infectious rooms as well as to provide health workers with Personal Protective Equipment or PPE),” Jimenez said.
He added that having an isolation room is a requirement for private hospitals to get a DOH license.
“Requirement po iyan sa lisensya ng DOH. We are visited once a year bago po magbigay ng approval ng lisensya po namin for the year—na mayroon pong isolation room (That is a requirement for a DOH license),” he said.
On January 31, the DOH announced that a 38-year-old Chinese woman who travelled to the Philippines from Wuhan, China had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. It was the first recorded case in the country. She is currently being quarantined at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.
A 44-year-old man from Wuhan, China died from the novel coronavirus in the country on February 1. He is the first person outside of China to die from the said disease.
Read more: PH reports 1st coronavirus death