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Over 70% of NCR's COVID-19 isolation, ward beds now occupied -DOH

The utilization rates of ward and isolation beds for cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Metro Manila are now over 70 percent and have breached into what it called the "danger zone", the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the “danger zone” referred to utilization rates that are above 70 percent.

“‘Safe zone’ kung nasa 0 to 30 percent pa lang ng COVID-19-dedicated facilities ang nagagamit. ‘Warning zone’ naman kung nasa 30-70 percent na ang nagagamit at ‘danger zone’ kung 70 to 100 percent na ang nagagamit,” she said in a briefing.

She said 73.7 percent of Metro Manila's isolation beds for COVID-19 cases had been occupied as of July 12. She added 77.4 percent of ward beds for coronavirus patients were in use.

Intensive care unit (ICU) beds were also in the “warning zone” with 61 percent occupied while 36.3 percent of mechanical ventilators were in use as of July 12.

“This means that the health system is not yet overwhelmed ngunit isa itong trigger point upang mag-signal na kailangan may karampatang kilos na… upang makapaghanda tayo kung tumataas man ang demand,” the health official said.

However, Vergeire clarified that not all hospitals complied with the DOH order to allocate 30 percent of beds for COVID-19 cases due to limited resources.

There are 14,945 ICU, isolation, and ward beds for COVID-19 patients in public and private hospitals nationwide.

If all hospitals had allocated 30 percent of beds for COVID-19 patients, the figure would have been 32,252.

“Bagamat may mga ospital na pong reported na nasa maximum capacity na ang kanilang COVID-dedicated beds, below 50 percent pa rin po ang ating occupancy on a national scale at sinisiguro po natin na hindi pa ito tataas,” Vergeire said.

The DOH reported that 47 percent of ICU beds, 46.7 percent of isolation beds, and 54.4 percent of ward beds nationwide were in use as of July 13 while the utilization rate of mechanical ventilators was at 26.3 percent.

Metro Manila mayors earlier agreed to extend the general community quarantine over the region. 

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce his latest directives on quarantine restrictions on Wednesday.

The Philippines has logged 57,545 COVID-19 cases with 20,459 recoveries and 1,603 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon. -NB, GMA News