Makati Medical Center reaches full capacity for coronavirus cases

MANILA, Philippines – The Makati Medical Center (MMC) has reached its maximum capacity for coronavirus cases, joining the growing number of hospitals that are saying they can no longer take in patients with COVID-19.

In a statement released on Tuesday, March 24, MMC medical director Dr Saturnino Javier declared the hospital full capacity "after a thorough review of our bed capacity [particularly the Critical Care units], workforce availability, and supply of vital infection prevention equipment, and in consultation with our respective medical teams and the management."

Aside from Makati Medical Center, The Medical City in Pasig as well as St Luke's hospitals in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City have also hit maximum capacity for coronavirus cases.

According to Javier, the hospital has attended to over 700 suspected cases of COVID-19 since the virus reached the Philippines. Nearly 70 COVID-19 patients are currently confined in the hospital, with 15% in the Intensive Care Unit. The confinements include those who have tested positive, as well as those still waiting for test results. Some patients include MMC's own frontline doctors, nurses, technicians, and nursing aides.

"MMC has reached its threshold in its capability to respond to more COVID-19 cases. As such, we can no longer extend the same degree of care and attention for any additional admission for COVID-19 cases," Javier said.

He clarified that they will still try to give preliminary evaluation and treatment at their Emergency Department, but cannot guarantee rooms for admission. He said that the hospital will "exert every effort" to help patients find alternative healthcare facilities.

On March 25, Javier released a separate statement calling out Senator Koko Pimentel for accompanying his pregnant wife to MMC even as he experienced symptoms for COVID-19 and awaited his own test results.

The MMC chief said that Pimentel's "irresponsible and reckless action" unnecessarily exposed the hospital's staff to the virus resulting in the need to quarantine a number of doctors and nurses, further straining the their already dwindling workforce.

According to the Department of Health (DOH)'s coronavirus tracker, as of March 25, 4 pm, the Philippines recorded 636 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 38 deaths, and 26 recoveries. – Rappler.com