Some patients admitted at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila were transferred to other nearby medical institutions after a fire broke out at the state-run facility early Sunday, May 16.
PGH Spokesperson Dr. Jonas Del Rosario said that 12 infant patients were transferred to the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila.
“Meron po kaming mga nilipat. Meron po kasi kaming nursery (area)…so in-evacuate po namin yung mga babies (Some patients were transferred. We have a nursery (area)… so we evacuated the babies),” said Del Rosario in an interview over ABS-CBN Teleradyo.
“Meron din kaming mga limang pedia patients po na inilipat namin sa iba-ibang hospital na tinanggap naman po nila (We also have about five pediatric patients that we transferred to various hospitals),” he added.
Del Rosario said that the fire started in the operating room sterilization area (ORSA )of the hospital located on the third floor.
“Doon sa area na iyon maraming linens–mga kumot, mga ilang ginagamit natin sa ospital kaya mabilis din nagliyab (There are a lot of linens in that area–blankets, some of which we use in the hospital and it caught fire quickly). It happened at midnight,” he said.
“Dahil iyon ay nasa third floor, we had to evacuate the patients above the third floor kasi yung usok umaakyat sa mga palapag kaya yung mga private patients namin doon, kailangan po namin ibaba both COVID and non-COVID (Since it started on the third floor, we had to evacuate the patients above that floor. We moved our private patients there—both COVID and non-COVID.),” he added.
Del Rosario said that they ensure that COVID and non-COVID patients were separated properly.
“Naiwasan po. Maingat po kami dyan. We are very aware na hindi mo pwedeng paghaluin…May sistema naman po ang PGH… nahati na namin yung PGH sa dalawa: non covid at covid (We are careful on that matter. We are very aware that you can’t mix those patients. PGH has a system … we have divided PGH into two: non-COVID and COVID),” he said.
No one was hurt in the fire, said Del Rosario.
“Wala naman pong casualty… na save naman po namin lahat ng dapat i-save na mga tao. Wala pong naiwan sa mga rooms nila (There were no casualties. No one was left in their rooms),” he said.
Del Rosario said that affected patients were evacuated in the hospital’s emergency room and OB admitting section.
He said that the hospital management decided to temporarily close the PGH’s emergency room.
“Sana maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan na sarado ang emergency room ng PGH kasi ginamit po naming evacuation center. We have to use this area po for our patients na nadisplaced dahil nagkasunog. Hindi pa po sila makabalik sa rooms nila (I hope our citizens understand that the emergency room of PGH is currently closed because we are using it as an evacuation center. We have to use this area for our patients who were displaced due to the fire. They have not been able to return to their rooms yet),” he said.
Del Rosario said that the fire was put out at 5:45 a.m. “Hindi pa na-aasess yung damage kasi kakapatay palang ng sunog (The total damage has not been assessed yet),” he said.