R1MC threatens to close wards as isolation rooms fill up with COVID patients

Published July 30, 2020, 10:13 AM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

DAGUPAN CITY – Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) chief Dr. Joseph Roland Mejia warned on Thursday that they will be forced to close the hospital wards if the isolation rooms get inundated with more coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

Dr. Mejia noted that the private and government-run hospitals in Pangasinan have limited bed capacities.

“We don’t want to exhaust the existing bed capacity of our hospitals,” he added.

The R1MC Chief said there is no need to wait for the 50-percent occupancy of the isolation rooms and that preventive measures should already be in place when the hospitals are already at their 30 percent occupancy.

The R1MC has 120 isolation rooms, with one patient per room ratio, and are situated in a separate building with an expansion area on standby just in case the number of patients increases more than its capacity.

For now, R1MC has 16 confirmed COVID-19 patients confined at the hospital’s COVID-19 Isolation ward and most of them are asymptomatic. 

Mejia fears a surge in COVID-19 cases in the province due to local transmission. Some patients have no history of travel outside the province but tested positive for COVID-19.

He said the R1MC’s Epidemiology Center has with the local government units in the province and suggested home quarantine for positive but asymptomatic patients.