COVID-19 hospital occupancy rate in Metro Manila slightly fell - Vega
Critical care capacity for hospital beds, including intensive care units in Metro Manila, the epicenter of coronavirus disease pandemic in the Philippines, has gone down but still at more than 50 percent, the Department of Health said on Wednesday.
In the televised "Laging Handa" press briefing, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, who is also the "treatment czar," said from a high of 82 percent hospital occupancy rate, this fell to about 71 percent.
"The hospital occupancy rate, especially for COVID is now at 71 to 72 percent, especially the isolation and COVID beds. For the ICU, it's at 67-68 percent as of now," he said.
"That's why we are still (asking) that other hospitals open more beds dedicated for COVID in order to have better number of unutilized beds here in Metro Manila," Vega added.
Vega has initiated the establishment of One Hospital Command Center for a comprehensive and coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring effective and efficient health facility referral in Metro Manila.
Vega said the OHCC's direct lines have increased provided by the PLDT Group.
"We thank MVP (Manuel V. Pangilinan), the PLDT Group for giving us 15 to 18 direct lines of PLDT," he said, noting the main bottleneck before to contact hospitals and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities was their lack of telephone lines.
"That's why we have better coordination now between our One Hospital Command responders and the different hospitals and TTMF," he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a live televised press briefing on August 24, called up business tycoons Fernando Zobel de Ayala of Globe Telecom and Pangilinan of PLDT-Smart Communications to seek their assistance for the installation of more phone lines for the OHCC.
The businessmen promised to provide the OHCC with more direct phone lines.
As of September 1, the Philippines has 224,264 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 158,012 recoveries and 3,597 deaths. Celerina Monte/DMS