The calls received by the country’s COVID-19 referral hotline have further increased to more than 1,120 a day, an official of the Department of Health announced Thursday.
Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said this is higher than the calls received by the One Hospital Command Center during the surge last September at 800 calls.
“Ngayon ang current po namin, nakakatanggap na po kami ng more than 1,120 calls, ano? Kakaiba talaga ito kasi ‘yung September calls natin on last wave, umabot na kami sa mga 780 to mga 800 calls,” he said at the Laging Handa briefing.
(We currently receive more than 1,120 calls. This is different because in September during the last wave, we reached 780 to 800 calls.)
Vega said 60% of the calls sought help in finding isolation facilities and assistance in home isolation while 15% were referrals for hospitals and intensive care unit services.
“Ito ngayong January, ‘yung mga tawag mostly on isolation facilities, home isolation, at saka kakaonti na ‘yung referals namin, nasa mga 15% ‘yung referrals namin for the hospitals and intensive care unit services,” he said.
(In January, the calls are mostly for isolation facilities, home isolation, and only a few referrals, around 15% for hospitals and ICU services.)
He said this is different from the calls received by the center in September 2021, where most of the calls were for ICU referrals and problems with the distribution of oxygen supply.
Meanwhile, Vega said some of the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) have been reopened with utilization at around 78%.
“Nag-increase tayo ng number of contracted hotels again para sa isolation at ng na-reactivate na ng local government units ‘yung TTMFs to be functional again,” he said.
(We increased the number of contracted hotels again for isolation and the local government units have reactivated the TTMFs to be functional again.)
Vega said the DOH is also increasing the number of isolation facilities for healthcare workers and the general public.
Meanwhile, Vega said 10% to 15% of COVID-19 patients developed long COVID.
According to Vega, individuals who still experience symptoms after 30 days may have long COVID.
“Napansin nila na after COVID, hindi gumaling, nagkaroon pa rin ng shortness of breath. Ibig sabihin may tama na ‘yung baga,” he said.
(They noticed that after COVID, the patients no longer recovered, they still had shortness of breath. This means that the lungs have been affected.)
“Meron din nagkaroon ‘yung sa heart… nagkaroon ng parang inflammation, myocarditis at saka meron din problem sa kidney at saka sa mental fogginess,” he added.
(The hearts of some patients were also affected as if they had inflammation, myocarditis, kidney problems, and mental fogginess.)
Vega said there is no cure for long COVID-19 aside from rehabilitation.
“Hoping na mag-improve ulit ‘yung paghinga mo, ‘yung muscles mo mawawala na ‘yung fatigue, at saka ‘yung ano ninyo ‘yung heart,” he said.
(Hoping that your breathing will improve, your muscles will not experience fatigue, as well as your heart.) — RSJ, GMA News