DAVAO CITY – All coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Davao City will be referred to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) as the private hospitals here have decided to temporarily suspend accommodating new positive patients.
Acting Davao City Health Office (CHO) head Dr. Ashley Lopez on Wednesday said the local government reported fewer active cases, and that the SPMC has recently noted a low utilization rate of COVID-19 beds at below 50%, leaving more beds vacant for weeks already.
As of April 6, the government-run SPMC, which has been designated as the primary city isolation unit for COVID-19 patients, recorded a utilization rate of COVID-19 ward beds of 44.8%.
“Our numbers right now are low so we can accommodate at the SPMC where they can be attended to, particularly the moderate, severe, and critical cases,” said Lopez in his program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5).
Lopez said, however, that this does not mean the private hospitals would completely abandon their responsibility in the pandemic response.
“It’s just that SPMC has been given priority because it is considered as the city isolation unit while the private hospitals are backup to support it just in case there is an overspill of patients at the SPMC,” she said.
The Department of Health (DOH), in Administrative Order No. 2020-2016, requires all public hospitals to allocate at least “30% of its total bed capacity for COVID-19 cases, while private hospitals should allot at least 20%.”
Last Monday, Mayor Sara Duterte said all private hospitals should still prepare for a surge amid the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“I understand the hospitals had a meeting since there are less COVID-19 cases right now. So, their arrangement was they would switch back to SPMC as the only COVID-19 hospital in Davao City,” she said.
As of April 6, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported 26 new cases, bringing the total cases to 21,878, with 794 active, 20,138 recoveries, and 946 deaths in the region.
Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,849 cases, with 297 active, 12,873 recoveries, and 679 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,401 cases, Davao del Norte with 3,592, Davao del Sur with 1,461, Davao Occidental with 220, and Davao Oriental with 1,355.