DOH asks VisMin hospitals to increase COVID-19 bed capacity amid cases surge

Published June 11, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Analou de Vera


Hospitals in Visayas and Mindanao were asked to increase their bed capacity for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients amid the spike in virus infections, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday, June 11.

DOH Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama said public hospitals were instructed to increase their bed capacities by 50 percent to accomodate more patients.

“Ipinag-utos na sa public hospitals na bisitahin at pag-aralan muli ang kanilang surge capacity plans at dagdagan ang kanilang dedicated COVID-19 beds ng 50 percent or higit pa (Public hospitals have been ordered re-evaluate their surge capacity plans and increase their dedicated COVID-19 beds by 50 percent or more),” he said in a press briefing on Friday.

“Samantalang hinihikayat ang private hospitals na dagdagan din ang kanilang bilang ng dedicated COVID-19 beds hanggang 20 to 30 percent (While private hospitals are also encouraged to increase their number of dedicated COVID-19 beds by 20 to 30 percent),” he added.

Meanwhile, Dumama said that 365 intensive care unit beds and 957 ward beds were already added across Western Visayas, Caraga, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)

There were a total of 88,000 beds in the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) for Visayas and Mindanao, said Dumama.

Also, a total of 4,000 medical frontliners were already deployed in Westerna Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Caraga, he said.

“Nakikipagugnayan din ang DOH sa uniformed personnel groups gaya ng PNP (Philippine National Police), Coast Guard, BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection) para sa pag delploy ng kanilang human resource for health (The DOH is also coordinating with the uniformed personnel groups such as the PNP, Coast Guard, and BFP for the deployment of their human resource for health),” he said.

Dumama said that they have not seen yet the effect of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) that has been imposed in some areas of Visayas and Mindanao.

“Sa ngayon dahil bago lang po yung MECQ, hindi pa po natin nakikita yung resulta nito. Pero sa ngayon, gusto din natin mapaniwala na yung MECQ restriction ay makakatulong sa pagbaba ng mga kasong ito (Right now because the MECQ has just been imposed, we haven’t seen the results yet. But for now, we also want to believe that the MECQ restriction will help reduce these cases),” he said.

As of June 8, there were 9,725 active COVID-19 cases in Visayas, while in Mindanao there were 13,435, said Dumama.

Meanwhile, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that there are certain factors that contribute to the rise in cases. These include poor compliance to minimum public health standards, the presence of coronavirus variants, and gaps in the national and local governments response in isolating immediately the positive cases.