DOH observes improvement in utilization rate of ICU beds in NCR Plus

Published May 17, 2021, 9:58 AM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) has noted a decreasing trend in the utilization of intensive care unit beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients in the Greater Manila area.


DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said that the ICU bed occupancy in the Greater Manila area–also known as the NCR Plus—is currently at “about 61 percent.”

“There is now a downward trend in terms of the HCUR (healthcare utilization rate) of intensive care units basically because some of the hospitals, especially here in Metro Manila have allocated more beds, transforming part of their isolation beds into critical beds, and we also opened up the modular field hospitals to take care of the critical situation,” he said during the an interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday, May 17.

Vega expressed hopes that the utilization rate of ICU beds will continue to decrease.

“We hope to see that the intensive care units will really go down to the low risk category—that’s below 60 percent…That would mean we have a robust kind of health system that we are capable of handling any kind of surge,” he said.

The Health official, meanwhile, reminded the public that the shifting of the Greater Manila area to general community quarantine (GCQ) does not mean that they should be complacent.

“We hope that people will not be complacent because of this GCQ. That is the reason why there is a heightened restriction because this is not the normal GCQ,” said Vega.

“It is really a calibrated approach so that people will not feel complacent that they are now free to do more things because as you see–the virus is still there, there are cases of variants still being reported, and we need to detect and isolate as fast as we can in less than three days to suppress the spread of the virus,” he added.