House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez is asking the Department of Health (DOH) to immediately send 24 ventilators to hospitals in Cagayan de Oro City amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Rodriguez on Tuesday, June 22, disclosed that he wrote to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles about the request as he expressed alarm over the increase in coronavirus patients in his home city.
Duque and Nograles are co-chairmen of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
Rodriguez said that as of Sunday, June 20, there were a total of 10,107 cases in Cagayan de Oro.
From June 14 to 20, 563 persons more were infected, 37 of whom were admitted to hospitals, while the others were outpatients.
“Also during this period, 17 individuals died of COVID-19,” he added.
“The hospitals in the city are still seeing an influx of COVID-19 patients, with some forced to wait in line for vacancy. The healthcare utilization rate is at 74.56 percent,” the city’s second district representative said.
Rodriguez noted that the DOH has 63 ventilator units on standby and ready to be deployed to the regions.
“The DOH has to help our hospitals treat COVID-19 patients especially now that there is a so-called Delta or Indian variant that is more contagious than the UK variant,” the lawmaker said.
He specifically asked for ventilators for the following hospitals: Northern Mindanao Medical Center (10 units); JR Borja General Hospital (three units); Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital (three units); Capitol University Medical Center (two units); Cagayan de Oro Polymedic Medical Plaza (two units); Cagayan de Oro Medical Center/Oncology Cancer (two units); Madonna and Child Hospital (two units).
Earlier, the House leader slammed national government officials for their slow pandemic response and lack of support in Cagayan de Oro City and other areas of Mindanao, faulting them for the rise in coronavirus infections and deaths. He also called for increased vaccine allocation for Mindanao.