hospitals in the Philippines

St Luke’s, Makati Med declare full capacity of COVID-19 beds

Bonz Magsambol

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St Luke’s, Makati Med declare full capacity of COVID-19 beds

FULL CAPACITY. St Luke's Medical Center and Makati Medical Center say their COVID-19 beds are now full. Photo from St Luke's Medical Center/Makati Medical CenterFacebook page

(UPDATED) The National Kidney and Transplant Institute has reached the 'danger zone' – meaning, it's nearing full capacity of its designated beds for COVID-19 patients

At least 4 Metro Manila hospitals announced on Monday, July 13, that they had reached full capacity of allocated COVID-19 beds, particularly in the intensive care unit, as cases of the disease continue to rise in the country.

St Luke’s Medical Center

In a statement, St Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) said its hospitals in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City had already reached “full capacity of allocated COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds as of July 13.”

“In this regard, we request the public to consider bringing critically ill COVID-19 suspects to alternative hospitals so they will receive immediate and utmost care,” SLMC said.

SLMC, however, said that its hospitals remain open to accommodate non-coronavirus patients.

On July 6, SLMC dispelled rumors that its hospitals had already reached full capacity.

Makati Medical Center

Meanwhile, Makati Medical Center (MMC), in a statement also released on Monday, said that its ICU bed utilization and manpower for COVID-19 patients have reached full capacity.

“The COVID-19 zones of MMC, both the regular wards and the Critical Care Units, and especially the Emergency Room, are now full,” MMC said.

MMC assured the safety and well-being of admitted non-coronavirus patients as the hospital manages its workflow for COVID-19 patients.

National Kidney and Transplant Institute

On Monday night, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) said it had also reached the “danger zone” of its designated bed capacity for COVID-19 patients.

“We humbly request the public and other health care facilities to refer their critically ill, probable, or suspected COVID-19 patients to other health care facilities for immediate care and management,” the NKTI said.

It also said that despite continuous efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of employees, it still recorded a significant increase in the number of infection rate among health care workers in the last two weeks.

According to NKTI, its “emergency staff shall continue to acutely manage only renal emergency cases and post kidney transplant patients.”

“Non-COVID and non-pneumonia patients may be seen at the Outpatient Services (OPS) and be admitted accordingly,” the NKTI said.

The NKTI said its facility will undergo scheduled decontamination in all areas.

Last week on July 6, the DOH announced that 11 hospitals in Metro Manila reported full beds dedicated to coronavirus patients in ICU.

Daily new cases hover around 1,000

This recent development came following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. For the past 10 days before Monday’s numbers were released, DOH had been tallying over 1,000 confirmed coronavirus infections daily.

As of July 12, the country has 85 licensed testing hubs, while its testing capacity hovered around 16,000 to 21,000 last week. This is still below the 30,000 testing capacity that the government targeted to have in May.

The country has so far tested over 900,000 individuals out of the government’s total target of two million or 2% of the country’s 110 million population.

On Wednesday, July 8, the DOH reported 2,539 confirmed cases of the disease – the highest single-day increase so far. On Sunday, July 12, the DOH failed to release the daily COVID-19 case bulletin for the first time due to “significant volume of data gathered.”

It only announced Sunday’s number on Monday morning with 2,124 cases newly-reported from across the country.

As of Monday, the Philippines recorded 836 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 57,006, including 1,599 deaths and 20,371 recoveries.

The DOH earlier attributed the continued rise in cases to a number of factors, which included increased testing capacity. However, DOH also warned of sustained community transmission of the disease due to increased contact and mobility among populations as quarantine restrictions were eased. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.