By Hanah Tabios
Sometimes, crisis brings out the goodness in people.
Once a home to healthy popsicle treats, the owner of Popburri Cafè in Quezon City has transformed her shop into a temporary shelter to accommodate street dwellers while the whole of Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine.
For Maria Camille Dowling, 38, business owner, not only those who are enjoying their privileges have the fighting chance to live in this climate of fear, but also individuals, who may not have their permanent homes, but are part of the community.
“The news always reiterated how important it was to wash hands and we thought what about if you don’t of Surgeons, made an “urgent appeal for unified approach” to the COVID19 pandemic due to the alarming state of healthcare facilities.
The ten hospitals said the number of health workers is decreasing due to exhaustion and being placed under quarantine, while the number of PUIs continues to increase.
They said their regular rooms have been converted to isolation areas for COVID-19 cases, “leaving less for other non-COVID-19 highrisk patients who also have lifethreatening conditions.”
Protective equipment and gears for the frontlines are likewise “running short,” the hospitals said.
“The panic is escalating, mortality is increasing…our frontline staff is increasingly getting depleted. A number of our colleagues are already
hooked to respirators fighting for their lives in various ICUs. Even our ICUs are getting full. Soon we will have a shortage of respirators,“the group said.
“We have every reason to be scared. We are, indeed, very scared because we feel that we are on our own to face our countrymen in dire need of help,” they added.
As observed here and abroad, the hospitals said healthcare delivery systems are already crashing down, and it will continue to do so, “if we do not put our act together.”
“We speak, as one, because the mismatch between the exponential surge of patients and the available healthcare workers is no longer occurring in just one center, but in all our respective institutions,” the collective said.
“We share information and coping mechanism, but we cannot share retraces that we no longer have,” they added.
The hospitals said the “most
effective way” to slow down the pandemic is through “effective containment and stanching within the potentially disease-stricken population.”
“Given the sharp increase of OVID-19 patients per day, we have to act fast and act now. There is no time for indecision,” they said.
The hospitals urged the Department of Health to urgently execute the plan on establishing the COVID-19 facilities, for “concentration of resources, speed of patient processing and efficiency in protocol execution, “and to render “better chances for infection containment.”
“With the COVID-19 hospital(s) in place, the other institutions can then focus on bigger population who need to be treated for the rest of the other conditions other than the COVID-19 infection. They are the ones we need to equally protect and secure from the virus so that they and their families can also
be assured of appropriate treatment detached from any threat of COVID-19 infection aggravating their condition,” they said.
They expressed hope that the plan for COVID-19 facilities will be “realized without delay.”
“Our objective is to put order and organization on a national scale as we all grapple with swirling resources, increasing morbidity and mortality, and a decimated healthcare workforce as the virus continues to spread relentlessly.”
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate Health and Demography Committee, emphasized the need to identify and capacitate select hospitals that could exclusively handle COVID-19 cases in
order to have a more unified approach, maximize limited resources, protect health workers, and avoid exposure of patients in hospitals with non-COVID19 health concerns.
He further explained that health professionals working in hospitals that are not one of those designated to specialize in COVID-19 cases could focus on treating other patients who are facing non-COVID-19 but equally high-risk diseases and conditions.
The DOH is considering two hospitals, namely Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan and the University of the Philippines– Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in Manila to be designated as medical facilities exclusively for COVID-19 cases.