hospitals in the Philippines

PGH sees ‘consistent’ rise in COVID-19 admissions amid threat of Delta variant

Bonz Magsambol

Rappler file photo

'Patuloy po ang pagtaas mula po noong nakaraang linggo. For the last 10 days, talagang consistent na umaakyat ang aming admissions,' says PGH spokesman Dr. Jonas del Rosario.

The country’s biggest dedicated hospital for COVID-19 has been seeing a “consistent” rise in admissions due to the coronavirus, Philippine General Hospital (PGH) spokesman Dr. Jonas del Rosario said.

In an interview with DZMM’s TeleRadyo, Del Rosario said that COVID-19 admissions in PGH have risen from 100 to 143 patients on August 1, when they last checked their records.

“Patuloy po ang pagtaas mula po noong nakaraang linggo. For the last 10 days, talagang consistent na umaakyat ang aming admissions,” he said.

(Admissions have been going up since last week. For the last 10 days, admissions have been consistently going up.)

“Actually two days ago, 125 lang, kahapon ay 143 na,” Del Rosario added.

(Actually, it was 125 patients two days ago, but yesterday, it was already 143.)

The spike in admissions comes as Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, is dealing with the highly-infectious Delta variant of COVID-19. Despite the increase in cases, however, the Department of Health (DOH) said there was no “definitive evidence” of case surge just yet.

For three consecutive days, the Philippines logged over 8,000 COVID-19 cases per day, higher than the usual 5,000 to 6,000 daily cases that get reported.

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Enough oxygen tanks for now

Del Rosario said that PGH still has enough oxygen tanks to cater to its severe to critical COVID-19 patients. The hospital has 250 dedicated beds for COVID-19, and to date, around 60% have been occupied.

The PGH spokesman said that only a small number of their health workers have recently contracted COVID-19, compared to the surge that happened in April.

“Most of our healthcare workers are fully vaccinated,” he added, noting those infected with COVID-19 have only mild to moderate symptoms and don’t need hospitalization.

Metro Manila will return to a rigid lockdown mode from August 6 to 20, with additional restrictions for the week before, to prepare for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

The schedule of new restrictions for the National Capital Region are:

  • General community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened and additional restrictions – July 30 to August 5
  • Enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) – August 6 to 20

Malacañang said that the decision to go back to a strict lockdown was “painful,” but had to be done due to the more transmissible nature of the Delta variant. Local transmission of the variant was confirmed last July 22.

The Philippines now has 216 known cases of the highly transmissible variant, but there are concerns that the actual number may be far higher, as the Philippine Genome Center is only sequencing a small percentage of the positive cases.

The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is ravaging Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

To prevent further local transmission of the Delta variant, the Philippine government has also imposed travel bans from countries where it is widespread. –

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.