PGH ‘overflowing’ with patients

Published July 22, 2020, 3:30 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) said Wednesday (July 22) its COVID-19 ward is “overflowing” with 215 patients, following the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

PGH Spokesperson Jonas del Rosario, in an interview with DZMM radio, said PGH earlier set a limit of 210 for COVID-19 patients, the number their healthcare workers could accommodate.

“Puno na po. Umaapaw po. Ang na-peg po namin 210 beds, kasi ‘yun po ‘yung kakayanin ng aming healthcare workers. As of last night, 215 patients po ang COVID-related admission namin. Nalampasan namin ‘yung aming 210 na sinet na limit (We’re full. It’s overflowing. We pegged 210 beds because that’s what our healthcare workers can accommodate. As of last night, we took in 215 patients for COVID-related admissions. We exceeded our limit of 210),” del Rosario added.

He said the increase in the number of patients was partly because many private patients are seeking admission to PGH, given that many private hospitals in Metro Manila are now full.

Del Rosario said they are trying to tap quarantine facilities to accommodate asymptomatic patients so PGH can admit moderate to severe COVID-19 cases.

He added that there are about 35 to 40 waitlisted patients at PGH that they cannot admit because their COVID-19 wards and intensive care unit (ICU) are running at full capacity.

“Naka-on hold po, dahil wala kaming maibigay sa kanilang bed, wala rin kaming maibigay sa kanilang ICU, dahil may mga pasyente sa PGH nung umpisa mild to moderate, yung iba biglang critical. Kaya kailangang lagi kaming may nakaabang na ICU bed (Our admissions are currently on hold because we have no beds for them in our COVID ward and ICU, because there are patients in PGH that were mild to moderate, and some of them turned critical. So we always need to have a vacant ICU bed available),” Del Rosario said.

According to Del Rosario, most of the patients are elderly who became infected when quarantine was eased.

“Marami sa kanila nasa elderly population. Dahil nung nag-ease up ‘yung ating quarantine — hindi kagaya ‘nung ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), hindi naman lumalabas yung mga tao – ‘nung lumuwag, naging mobile ang mga tao, pati tuloy yung matatanda nahawa (A lot of them are in the elderly population. Because when quarantine was eased — unlike during ECQ, when people didn’t go out — now that there are fewer restrictions, people became mobile, and as a consequence some of our elderly got infected),” he added.

Del Rosario also said that the non-COVID wards of PGH have resumed operations since many non-COVID patients are now flocking to the state-run hospital.

He said their current ratio is at 50-50, and that they are accommodating more non-COVID patients now — previous patients that they could not admit before when the operation of their non-COVID wards was suspended.

Around 45 healthcare workers of PGH are currently admitted to the hospital, following an outbreak in its dietary department where 20 staff tested positive for COVID-19. Some six frontliners contracted the disease.