hospitals in the Philippines

ICUs of 10 cities outside Metro Manila nearly full, says Octa

Bonz Magsambol
ICUs of 10 cities outside Metro Manila nearly full, says Octa

TESTING. Workers wait for their turn to be swabbed at the capitol grounds in Cagayan de Oro City following an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Herbie Gomez/Rappler

These cities are Davao, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Tagum, Cotabato, San Pablo, Koronadal, Tuguegarao, and Batangas

Experts studying the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines flagged the nearly full intensive care units (ICUs) of 10 cities outside Metro Manila.

In its report released on Tuesday, June 22, the Octa Research team noted that 86% to 97% of ICU beds in the cities of Davao, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Tagum, Cotabato, San Pablo, Koronadal, Tuguegarao, and Batangas have been occupied.

Of those cities, San Pablo, Tuguegarao, and Batangas are in Luzon; Iloilo is in the Visayas; and the rest are in Mindanao.

Local health officials pay close attention to ICU capacity as it indicates if many are experiencing severe COVID-19. It also measures the health system’s capacity to manage critically ill patients and prevent deaths.

Aside from this, the Octa team flagged the following as “areas of concern”:

  • Davao City
  • Iloilo City
  • Bacolod City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Tacloban City

The experts also observed a “sharp increase” in COVID-19 cases in Calumpit, Bulacan, which had an almost 200% jump from the previous week. They said the spike could be attributed to clustering of cases in some areas.

Earlier in June, the Department of Health already noted the “faster increase” in COVID-19 cases in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as some areas adjacent to Metro Manila.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire had said that the virus transmission in these regions usually happens in workplaces, and not in residential communities. She added that the presence of highly infectious COVID-19 variants is another factor why cases are increasing in provinces.

Octa said on Tuesday that COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila have further declined to an “average of 700 per day over the past week (June 15 to 21), a decrease of 15% from the previous week.”

As of Monday, June 21, the Philippines has 1,364,239 cases of COVID-19, with 1,284,543 recoveries and 23,749 deaths. Of the total, 55,847 are active cases or currently sick. – Rappler.com

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.