Bataan health workers relieve selves in diapers as they deal with influx of COVID patients

Published August 4, 2021, 3:55 PM

by Shirley Matias Pizarro

BALANGA, Bataan – The chief of this province’s apex hospital which is the exclusive COVID-19 facility here urged the provincial government to help “rest the hospital and the health workers and stop the possibility of overwhelming the health system in the province” due to the influx of COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Ria Baltazar of the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) revealed that their doctors and nurses couldn’t anymore afford to have bathroom breaks as most of them have already resorted to wearing diapers while performing their duties.

During a consultative meeting with the Bataan Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the local chief executives in the province last Monday, Aug. 2, Baltazar said the influx has already put the Intensive Care Units (ICU) and Emergency Rooms (ER) in critical level of occupancy in the wake of the discovery of COVID-19 Delta variant here last week.

“Currently, we have 373 admissions, which is over and beyond the 264-bed capacity of BGHMC including the annex. The ER is already inundated because we receive a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 58 patients a night. This is the daily situation now,” said Baltazar.

“No one uses offices in the hospital as office anymore. We hold office in the corridors. I have already given up mine in order to be used by patients. We need more ICU beds and bigger ER,” she added.

On top of that, the doctor also mentioned that they had to deal with the situation where a whole shift of health workers in BGHMC got compromised after being exposed to a Delta variant case. But because the health workers have been vaccinated, the situation is presumably more manageable now that it was a year ago.

Bataan now has close to 2,000 active COVID-19 cases and less than 20 confirmed Delta variant cases. In Mariveles where the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) is located, 1,419 active cases were already listed since a Delta variant was discovered there last week. Most local transmissions here happen inside the industrialized zone.