Bacolod on COVID-19 ‘critical’ transmission list, hospitals under pressure

Inday Espina-Varona

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Bacolod on COVID-19 ‘critical’ transmission list, hospitals under pressure

UNDER PRESSURE. Medical workers at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Regional Hospital admit a patient for COVID-19.

CLMMRH Horizon

Rising hospital admissions in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are exposing staff to infection, forcing some units to scale back operations

Two major government hospitals in the cities of Bacolod and Silay, Negros Occidental have scaled back admissions as medical staff get infected by COVID-19 or go on quarantine for high-risk exposure.

The announcements by the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) and the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH) came before Bacolod City’s notice on Tuesday, January 18, of an early close to government center offices for disinfection.

The city public information office called it a precautionary measure as many department heads reported “that most of their employees are not feeling well.”

Amid the current surge in cases, the management of the Bacolod-Silay airport also started implementing on January 18 the Civil Aeronautics Board policy that bans unvaccinated persons from boarding planes.

The only exemptions are persons with medical certificates citing conditions that prevent them from getting inoculated and those with local government certificates for the procurement of essential goods and services.


CLMMRH head Dr. Julius Drilon on January 18 told Rappler that 46 medical/COVID-19 rotators and six non-medical personnel have tested positive.

Drilon said 19 other hospital workers have also been quarantined due to high-risk exposure.

The hospital added the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to units that will accept only “extreme emergency cases.” It also suspended out-patient services in Orthopedics.

The hospital said infections and exposure have slashed available manpower. It has also reached full capacity in dedicated COVID-19 beds for pregnant patients.

CLMMRH shut its pediatric department on January 15 as COVID-19 and non-COVID sections hit full capacity.

Drilon said the number of admissions in CLMMRH jumped from 30 on January 15 to 78 on January 17, with unvaccinated persons occupying 98% of hospital beds.

The Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH) in Silay City on Sunday, January 16, also temporarily suspended out-patient services in its Obstetrics and Gynecology Department and limited admissions to only emergency cases.

“A significant number of TLJPH frontliners either tested positive to COVID-19 or placed under quarantine for high risk exposure as a result of the recent spike in cases among our patients and watchers,” said an announcement from the hospital, shared by the provincial government on its Facebook page.

DOH Western Visayas office placed Bacolod City on the list of “critical” transmission areas on January 17 and also upgraded Negros Occidental from moderate to high risk. New cases jumped by more than a hundred from January 16 to 17.

Omicron can be dangerous

The lack of recoveries in Bacolod City since January 8 also shows that COVID-19 remains a serious threat to people’s health, especially the unvaccinated.

The city’s daily tracker, which includes figures on recovery, last showed 16 recoveries on January 7. There has only been one death due to COVID-19 over the last 10 days.

Rappler asked city emergency operations center head, Em Ang, about the recovery rate but has yet to receive her reply. 

Drilon told Rappler the average recovery period is 10 days. He warned that the city’s last new-case count of 187 and the rising average daily attack rate (ADAR) will put pressure on hospitals and isolation facilities in the next two weeks.

The CLMMRH daily COVID-19 analysis on January 18 showed the city ADAR rising to 7.22 on January 17 from 6.66 the day before. The province’s ADAR also increased to 2.24 from 2.20. 

ADAR is the number of new cases over the past 14 days per 100,000 population in the area of concern. The hospital tests samples sent in by the Bacolod epidemiology and surveillance unit (BCESU) and those it directly extracts from patients and hospital staff, as well as figures shared by the province.  

The city’s two-week growth rate rose further from 589% on January 16 to 636% on January 17 while the province’s dipped slightly from 1,228% to 1,189%. 

While the city has only one confirmed Omicron case, local officials and medical experts say they presume it is partly behind the surge. –

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