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Monday, March 4, 2024

Hospitals beset by overcapacity; PH logs record positivity rate

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Emergency rooms in some hospitals are operating at more than 100 percent capacity as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to soar, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) said Sunday.

Speaking to Dobol B TV, Dr. Maricar Limpin, president of the group, said some hospitals were operating at 130 percent to 150 percent. She said they were not surprised by the number since hospital emergency rooms were already at full capacity.

Some hospitals are also running out of medical supplies and mechanical ventilators, Limpin said.

This developed as the Philippines logged 18,528 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 1,954,023, one day after marking a new record high.

The country also logged its highest positivity rate of 27.9 percent out of 66,225 tests conducted on Aug. 27. This was way above the World Health Organization’s prescribed 5 percent positivity rate in which the outbreak is under control.

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Limpin said some hospitals in Cebu City had to choose which patients would go on ventilators since there weren't enough to go around. The basis for this decision, she said, was which patient was more likely to survive.

Limpin said patients with COVID-19 symptoms should have themselves checked in health care facilities near them, instead of going to a hospital, to ensure they do not get worse.

The most common symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness.

Health officials said there were 101 more deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the disease’s death toll in the Philippines to 33,109.

The Department of Health reported 17,922 new recoveries, bringing the total number of patients who recovered from the disease to 1,777,693.

This brought active cases to 143,221 active cases.

The number of cases infected with the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 rose to 1,789 with the discovery of 516 new cases.

Of these, 473 were local cases, while 31 were returning overseas Filipinos, and 12 were still under verification. Some 114 of these cases were in Metro Manila.

Six cases remain active, five cases have died, while 505 cases have been tagged as recovered, the DOH said.

The country logged a record-high 19,441 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

In other developments:

• The Ospital ng Sampaloc announced that it had reached full capacity for COVID-19 patients. In a statement, it said it could no longer accommodate COVID-19 cases needing hospitalization.

•  Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Sunday said she was alarmed over the country's new highest single day tally of 19,441 COVID-19 cases recorded on Aug. 28, saying the "Duterte variant" of criminal neglect must be contained. “The so-called 'Delta tsunami' is getting worse because of the ‘Duterte variant’ of criminal negligence.

The President is always indulging [in] politics without even having a concrete support for the hospitals and their frontliners,” she said in a statement.

•  The Commission on Human Rights is urging the government to equally give attention to prisoners and their need for vaccination, as well as the welfare of personnel managing jails and other detention facilities. 

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