Dumaguete hospitals ‘overwhelmed’ with COVID-19 patients

Robbin M. Dagle
Dumaguete hospitals ‘overwhelmed’ with COVID-19 patients

'OVERWHELMED.' The ACE Dumaguete Doctors Hospital records 100% capacity in terms of COVID-19 beds as of May 19, 2021.

ACE Dumaguete Doctors Hospital's website

Negros Oriental records the most number of new COVID-19 cases among Central Visayas provinces on May 19

Three major hospitals in Dumaguete City have reached full capacity in terms of COVID-19 beds as Negros Oriental faces its worst surge since the pandemic began. 

According to the Department of Health’s regional office, Negros Oriental was the province with the most number of new cases recorded in Central Visayas on Wednesday, May 19, with 83.

The province was second only to Bohol with the most number of new cases in the last two weeks in Central Visayas, as the count for Cebu province excludes the highly-urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue.

In an advisory released Tuesday, May 18, Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC) announced that it had suspended admission of COVID-19 patients as all beds allocated for them are “fully occupied.” 

As of Wednesday, SUMC has admitted 52 COVID-19 patients, even if it only has 51 COVID-19 beds.  

Based on figures released by the provincial government, SUMC’s COVID-19 beds are 102% occupied. However, the hospital said that it would continue accommodating and admitting non-COVID-19 patients.

The Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital and ACE Dumaguete Doctors Hospital both recorded 100% capacity in terms of COVID-19 beds, according to the provincial government’s May 19 report.

Holy Child Hospital is at 90% COVID-19 bed occupancy, with 18 of its 20 beds in use. Negros Polymedic in neighboring Sibulan town is at 92%, with 12 of its 13 COVID-19 beds occupied.

Dumaguete City, the provincial capital, is the epicenter of Negros Oriental’s ongoing surge, reporting 171 out of the province’s 661 active cases as of Wednesday.

Dr. Lilland Estacion, incident commander of the Negros Oriental Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), said that some health workers who are “overwhelmed” with the cases are already thinking about resigning.

Overwhelmed na gyud sila and there are staff who wants to resign because overwhelmed na sila sa mga kaso (They are already overwhelmed and there are staff who want to resign because they are already overwhelmed with cases),” Estacion said in a press conference on Wednesday.

When asked whether Negros Oriental was prepared for the “worst-case scenario,” Estacion admitted that the province was “not ready” based on the current bed capacity figures. She said that the provincial IATF will meet soon to address the “many issues” related to the surge. 

Estacion said that people’s “laxity and lapses” in following minimum health protocols contributed to the current surge.

Adto ka sa streets, makita nato nga murag normal na gyud ang atong kinabuhi. Naa’y mag-mask pero wala gibutang sa maayong lugar. (Go to the streets, you will see that it seems life is back to normal. There are those who wear masks, but do not wear them properly),” she said.

Negros Oriental has been under modified general community quarantine, the loosest type of quarantine classification, since July 2020. –