By Warren Elijah Valdez
DAVAO CITY – The city government is seeking to provide at least 1,000 beds for patients either suspected of being infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In an interview Monday, Mayor Sara Duterte said they were looking for more facilities in Davao City that could be established as COVID-19 centers.
This was after health authorities told her that the current bed capacity in medical facilities in the city was not enough to accommodate those who are suspected of having COVID-19.
”We have 11 facilities. Our agreement before with the Department of Health (DOH) was that when the COVID-19 patient is stable and had only mild symptoms, or even if he is a probable suspect or positive, to refer them to our centers so that we will handle them as they as they do not need (critical) medical interventions,” Duterte said.
The city mayor said there were currently 416 beds across the 11 designated-COVID-19 facilities of the city government.
“But then, sinasabi ng doctor, kasi nga worst case scenario yung mindset namin, sinasabi nila na kulang daw ‘yon,” she stressed.
Duterte said they have already identified two more facilities, which could house more beds and add up to the 11 existing COVID-19 centers.
“The two facilities have the capacity to provide 200 beds. Once these are ready, there will be a total of 616 beds, but the doctors say it is still not enough for our preparation,” she said.
Of the existing 11 COVID-19 centers, there are three centers that are currently being used. Center A has a bed capacity of 30, which now has 15 admitted patients; Center B with 22 beds, with three admitted patients; and Center C with 57 beds, with already 16 patients admitted.
“If you can see, our centers are not fully occupied, but we are always reminded by our doctors not to be complacent, which is why we need to prepare for more hospital beds,” Duterte said.
Duterte also noted that there are only two designated COVID-19 hospitals in Davao region identified by the DOH – the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC).
The city mayor also bared the intent of the city to open some private hospitals to be designated as COVID-19 to help the two existing COVID-19 hospitals.
“Magbubukas po kami ng mga private hospitals to be designated as COVID-19 hospitals kapag hindi na kakayanin ng dalawang government hospitals. Sa ngayon, hindi pa naman daw sila (overwhelmed). But of course, ang laging pinag-hahandaan ng DOH at ng city government of Davao, and the Regional Task Force (for COVID019) ditto sa Region XI is the worst case scenario lagi yung iniisip namin,” Duterte said.