PGH barely felt effects of 2-week ECQ as COVID-19 admissions remain steady – official

Published April 20, 2021, 9:48 AM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has barely felt the expected effects of the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) admitted at the hospital remain high.

(Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

This was the assessment of the hospital’s spokesperson Dr. Jonas Del Rosario, saying that the PGH’s intensive care unit (ICU) is still full of patients with COVID-19.

“In general, I think, we haven’t really felt the good effects of what we were hoping for,” Del Rosario said in an interview over CNN Philippines on Tuesday, April 20.

Del Rosario said the number of infected patients at PGH peaked at 249 a week ago, barely reaching the hospital’s maximum capacity of 255 beds for COVID-19 patients.

Currently, the hospital official said the PGH is currently averaging between 225 to 230 infected patients.

“So slight decrease in the numbers but still steady in terms of our admissions,” Del Rosario said.

“Our ICUs (intensive care units) are always full. The moment somebody vacates the ICU, there’s another one waiting in the wings,” he added.

The government imposed a two-week ECQ in areas within the National Capital Region-plus from March 29 to April 11 to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases and improve the healthcare capacity of medical facilities.

According to Del Rosario, there were many severe and critical COVID-19 patients from other hospitals who wanted to be admitted to PGH.

But the hospital official said the PGH could not admit them because it does not have enough beds for the patients.

“In general, I would say that we barely felt the effect of the two-week ECQ,” Del Rosario said.

“Maybe, at least the only positive thing about it is that it did not get higher than 249. It went down a little bit, but it’s been steady now in the high 220 to 230’s,” he added.

He said the PGH still has enough healthcare workers right now.

But he noted that the hospital has to close down some of its non-COVID operations to be able to pull out some of their medical personnel to man their COVID-19 operations.

Del Rosario said the PGH is also continuously hiring more healthcare workers such as doctors, nurses, and medical technologists.

“The one’s provided by the government from the provinces, we decided to give them to other hospitals which need them more,” he said.