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COVID-19 hospital bed occupancy rate still high in Catanduanes, says gov

High hospital bed occupancy rate is among the reasons why Catanduanes remains under Alert Level 4, according to Governor Joseph Cua on Thursday.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Cua said hospital bed occupancy rate in the province is at 82%.

"Isang dahilan po dito ay mataas ang hospital beds at ICU utilization natin sa probinsya dahil sa kaso ng COVID-19 [One reason is that we have high hospital beds and ICU utilization due to COVID-19," Cua said.

Catanduanes, he said, has only one COVID-19 referral center and two small private hospitals.

Due to this limitation, Cua said only severe COVID-19 cases are accommodated in ICU wards.

Exacerbating the fact is the 27 cases of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant, he said.

He added that procurement of medicines used in treating COVID-19 patients such remdesivir is also a problem for the province because of higher market price.

The governor, however, said oxygen supply is enough and that they have procured additional supply as buffer stock.

"'Yung sa supply ng oxygen, sapat naman. Kaya lang, may mga situation na walang biyahe ang mga ferry boats kung saan ay talagang halos nagigipit kami pero wala pa namang kaso na naubusan kami ng oxygen," he said.

(Our oxygen supply is enough. However, there are situations wherein there is no ferry boat trip that’s why we lack supplies. But right now, there is no reported case that we ran out of oxygen supply.)

As for vaccination, Cua said they have fully vaccinated 24% of their target population, amounting to some 65,478 residents, while 10,206 have received their first dose.

Cua called on the national government to increase vaccine allocation to the province.

"Gusto ‘kong ipahatid sa aming lalawagin at sa national government ang karagdagang vaccine allocation para mapagpatuloy namin ang-pagbakuna at ma-reach namin ‘yung herd immunity,” Cua said.

(I am asking the national government for additional vaccine allocation in our city so we can continue with our vaccination program and reach the herd immunity.) —KBK, GMA News