hospitals in the Philippines

Metro Manila’s COVID-19 bed capacity in ‘danger zone,’ 4 regions at warning level

Rambo Talabong

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The Department of Health urges hospitals to free up more beds for coronavirus patients

Metro Manila has reached the “danger zone” in terms of bed capacity for coronavirus patients, while 4 other regions were already at the warning level, Department of Health (DOH) data showed on Tuesday, July 14.

According to data by the DOH, 76% of beds for COVID-19 patients in the National Capital Region (NCR) have already been occupied, placing it in the “danger zone” for nearing full capacity.

The following regions, meanwhile, were classified as areas in the “warning zone” for having at least 30% of their isolation beds for COVID-19 patients already occupied:

  • Central Visayas – 64%
  • Calabarzon – 60%
  • Davao Region – 41%
  • Central Luzon – 32%

Why it matters: Bed capacity is essential in the country’s healthcare system when responding to the virus, as beds are the means for patients to be monitored, isolated, and treated.

This latest development coincides with the uptick in coronavirus cases amid the easing of lockdowns to revive the country’s economy.

As of Tuesday, the Philippines recorded a total of 57,545 coronavirus cases, including 1,603 deaths and 20,459 recoveries.

What the DOH wants you to know: The high bed occupancy rates could be lowered, the DOH said, if more hospitals followed their guidelines that 30% of their beds be converted to COVID-19 beds.

So far, only 14% of hospital beds across the country have been converted to COVID-19 beds. Only 9% of private hospital beds and 20% of public hospital beds have been converted.

Aside from this, the government is planning on transferring COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms who are already recovering to government isolation facilities to free up more hospital beds for those who need them more. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.