Philippines critical care utilization rate for COVID-19 patients only at 35% - DOH
Philippine hospitals have still available intensive care unit beds with medical ventilators for coronavirus disease patients as current critical care utilization rate is just about 35 percent, the Department of Health said on Monday.
In a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the critical utilization rate is one of the factors to determine in coming out with quarantine classifications.
The two other factors are case doubling time and economy.
"The critical care utilization rate is just about 35 percent, so that means that the utilized resources for critical care is only 35 percent. So, we still have available ICU beds with mechanical ventilators," Vergeire said.
Asked if the Philippines is flattening the curve, Vergeire said, "when we say flatten the curve, the objective is for us to prepare and to prepare more just in case, if and when cases will surge, we are prepared and our health system will not be overwhelmed."
"So right now, our health system is not overwhelmed based on our analysis of data."
Vergeire also said that currently the test capacity for COVID-19 is almost 50,000.
However, she admitted that the actual test capacity only averaged to about 10,500 to 11,000.
She said the government is expanding the protocol guidelines where frontliners, such as barangay health emergency response teams and social workers, also the vulnerable sector, such as pregnant women, undergoing dialysis and chemo therapy, would also be covered in the test.
Vergeire said there is also a need to stabilize the supply by partnering with the private sector, including the international suppliers.
She also said that the number of licensed laboratories will also increased from 59 to about 60 to 65 by the end of July.
"Hopefully this will continue so that by the end of July, we can reach that, we have tested 1.5 percent of the population," the official added. Celerina Monte/DMS