MECQ status likely amid saturated hospitals

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THE country may go back under strict lockdown but only in the event that hospitals are saturated and could no longer accommodate patients — something that tertiary hospitals claim they already are.

Interviewed on the radio, National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) consultant Dr. Ted Herbosa said that modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) may be imposed again once hospitals and temporary treatment facilities become fully occupied.

He explained that high occupancy rate of health facilities may lead to more fatalities because they cannot immediately accommodate all patients.

“Usually babalik tayo sa MECQ kapag napuno ang ating mga ospital at mga temporary treatment facilities. Kapag napuno ang ospital baka maraming mamatay na hindi dapat mamatay dahil hindi sila magamot. Nakapila sila for admission,” Herbosa was quoted as saying during the interview.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday recorded another record high of 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, the highest reported in seven months, bringing the total tally to 616,611.

Tertiary hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) have also pressed the alarm button.

As of Saturday, various Metro Manila hospitals have issued separate public advisories:

·         Asian Hospital Med Center: ER is at full capacity. Cannot accommodate patients anymore.

·         Paranaque Doctors Hospital:  Can accommodate patients if non-COVID. If COVID-related, patient needs to be endorsed first.

·         Cardinal Santos Medical Center: ER is already at full capacity. Families of patients advised to try other hospitals.

·         Makati Medical Center:  ER is already at full capacity. Families of patients advised to try other hospitals.

·         Adventist Medical Center: ER for both COVID and non-COVID is full house.

·         Manila Doctors Hospital: No more vacancies in COVID or non-COVID ER.

·         St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City (SLMC-QC): ER is already at full capacity. Patients are still waiting for vacant beds.

·         SLMC BGC: They can still accept patients, but patients will wait outside ER if non-critical case, Both COVID and non-COVID are full in their ER.

·         PGH ER: Accepts patients if for admission and with complete coordination.

·         The Medical City: COVID and non-COVID ER are full. Patients will wait for vacant beds if will be brought there, unless patients have attending physician at TMC.

·         Chinese General Hospital: Can cater to patients at triage, but COVID and non-COVID ER are already full. Patients will have to wait outside.

·         Metropolitan Medical Center: ER is at full capacity They can cater to patients with attending physician there if well-coordinated

·         Medical Center Taguig: ER is already at full capacity; same with rooms for admission. Patients are advised to be brought to other hospitals.

·         Victor R Potenciano Medical Center (VRPMC) in Mandaluyong: Does not accept patients anymore. Full capacity at ER and for admission

·         Quezon City General Hospital: Occupancy rate of the hospital’s COVID-19 ward beds had exceeded 100 percent.

The National Capital Region and nine other areas were placed under general community quarantine this March, while the rest of the country are under modified GCQ.

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