(UPDATE) Two hospitals in the City of Manila on Saturday suspended admission of patients due to a rise in COVID-19 cases among their patients and employees, authorities said.
Starting 8 a.m. of Jan. 1, the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo temporarily stopped admitting patients in its emergency room due to the increasing number of hospital employees being infected with COVID-19, according to the city's Public Information Office.
The Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital in Binondo also temporarily closed at 8 p.m. of the same day as COVID-19 infection among its patients and employees continued to rise.
"All incoming patients shall still be evaluated and transferred to other city hospitals," said Dr. Ted Martin, hospital director of Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center.
At the Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital in Binondo, the number of COVID-19 patients admitted in the hospital is more than the available beds.
"Kailangan munang magsara [ng ospital] para mapauwi o mailipat sa quarantine facilities ang mga naka-admit. Maaari po munang pumunta sa ibang pampublikong ospital sa lungsod ng Maynila," it added.
In an update on Sunday morning, the Department of Health said the Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital will open "within the day."
"The temporary closure was due to the hospital's initiative to transfer patients with mild cases to the nearby isolation facilities," it added.
The closure of the two hospitals to patients came following the increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the country. On Saturday, the government reported 3,617 new cases, over 500 cases higher than the previous day's tally.
Metro Manila will also be upgraded to Alert Level 3 as the government stood on guard against a further spike of COVID-19 cases and the looming threat of the Omicron variant.
In total, the Philippines has 14 confirmed Omicron variant cases, the Department of Health said.
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