Philippines' COVID-19 Bed Capacity Now in "Warning Zone"

And Metro Manila is in the danger zone.

We Heal as One Center at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Rizal Memorial Complex (Photo taken on April 13, 2020)
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano

(SPOT.ph) On January 30, the Philippines reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19: A 38-year-old female Chinese national who traveled from Wuhan via Hong Kong to several locations in the country between January 20 to 25. Almost seven months later, we're now at 83,673 confirmed COVID-19 cases (as of July 28), according to the Department of Health. The health agency also revealed in a virtual press briefing on July 28 that the occupancy for dedicated COVID-19 beds in hospitals nationwide is now at 52.3%, which means that we're at the "warning zone."

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Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire, Department of Health's assistant secretary, explained that only 15.2% of the total bed capacity in all hospitals in the Philippines is dedicated to COVID-19 cases. This is further broken down to 21.4% capacity in public hospitals and 10% in private facilities. The health official also shared some good news: Dedicated COVID-19 beds have increased in the past week from 15,919 beds on July 22 to 16,388 beds on July 26. However, this is still far from the government's target of 30% for public hospitals and 20% for private hospitals.

DOH Virtual Press Briefing, July 28, 2020
PHOTO BY Facebook/Department of Health
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DOH Virtual Press Briefing, July 28, 2020
PHOTO BY Facebook/Department of Health

Of all regions, it is the National Capital Region that is most at risk: ICU beds are now occupied at 73% (danger zone), isolation beds are now at 82% utilization (danger zone), and ward beds now have an 86% occupancy (danger zone). Region IV-A or Calabarzon is likewise in the danger zone for ICU occupancy (73%) and ward utilization (72%).

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DOH COVID-19 Tracker, data as of July 26 (screencapped at July 28, 5:50 p.m.) 
PHOTO BY website/department of health

As of July 28, 12 p.m., 1,286,267 individuals have been tested by the Department of Health through 71 licensed RT-PCR laboratories and 23 licensed GeneXpert laboratories. This is about 1% of the current Philippine population. On their website, the number of positive cases that have yet to be confirmed is at 113,958 as of July 26.

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