CEBU CITY, Philippines — Albeit the still-rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Cebu, the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has said that the critical care utilization rate (CCUR) here has already “stabilized.”
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 chief pathologist and spokesperson for COVID-19, said the CCUR figures in the region was already a lot better compared to the past weeks.
“So far, our critical care utilization rate has more or less been the same. Dili gyud ingon nga moingon ta nga ang atong CCUR nato (We cannot say that our CCUR) has improved or has worsened. Mura og nagstabilized siya (It seems that it has already stabilized),” Loreche said in a virtual press conference on Monday, July 6, 2020.
As of the DOH-7’s July 5 data, 6,380 out of the 10,273 cases in the region, mostly coming from Cebu City, remains active.
Of the number, 2,620 are admitted to hospitals while 3,760 are confined to isolation, either in facilities or their homes.
In government hospitals, the utilization rate of isolation beds is at 59. 2 percent; 52.6 percent for beds intended for the severe cases; 52.5 percent for the severe and critically ill beds; 50 percent for ICU beds; and 5.9 percent for COVID ward beds.
In private hospitals, isolation beds utilization is at 74.3 percent; beds for severe cases are 67.5 percent utilized; beds for severe critical ill utilization is at 65.8; COVID wards utilization is at 56.3; ICU beds are 51.5 percent occupied; while mechanical ventilators are at 45.2 percent utilized.
Loreche added that the private hospitals’ commitment since June to allocate at least 30 percent of their bed capacity for COVID-19 cases had so far been implemented, based on the hospitals’ reports submitted to DOH-7.
She added that the DOH-7 had provided the hospitals with the necessary support to enable them to expand their capacity.
“Another thing that we have to remember, we have deployed nurses, including doctors, as a way of coping up with the demand. Nag-ingon man lagi sila nga they are willing to expand provided nga naay manpower, and this manpower and even the PPEs, the Department of Health has provided them. So, we presume, and we trust that they would have increased and been true to their word of expanding it to 30 percent,” Loreche said.
(Another thing that we have to remember, we have deployed nurses, including doctors, as a way of coping up with the demand. They told us that they are willing to expand provided that they would have the manpower, and this manpower and even PPEs, the Department of Health has provided them. So, we presume, and we trust that they would have increased and been true to their word of expanding it to 30 percent.)
The health official said private hospitals might expand their capacity intended for COVID-19 cases further, at their will.
“It is really incumbent upon them if they would want to expand it to 50 percent. But them giving us 30 percent already intended for our COVID patients, that is already a sign of goodwill and help to the government in catering to our COVID-19 patients,” Loreche added.
However, Loreche said that the private hospitals also had the prerogative not to further expand their capacity if the latter deemed that its resources could not match the demands if they would accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
Loreche said that aside from the availability of beds, the hospitals also weigh on whether their manpower to accommodate would be sufficient should they expand their COVID-19 capacity further.
Loreche said that the hospitals would also need to balance their admissions to also cater to non-COVID-19 cases that would need hospital care./dbs