The Iloilo provincial government on Tuesday said it expects to declare a state of calamity due to the continuing rise in the number of dengue cases.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor issued this statement after a meeting of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council at the Iloilo Provincial Board Room.
He said he expected the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to tackle the declaration in its regular session on Tuesday next week, or in a special session if needed.
The province is dealing with shortages of medicine and other supplies, manpower, and hospital space as more patients seek treatment in 12 district hospitals.
The Hospital Management Office said almost half of the patients admitted to the 12 district hospitals have contracted the mosquito-borne disease.
The 12 district hospitals have a combined authorized bed capacity of 615 but HMO data showed that as of Tuesday, there were 2,174 confined in the hospitals. Out of the total number, 1, 051 are dengue cases.
Defensor said the province is preparing for the needs of the patients for the coming weeks as they will be hiring 18 doctors, 51 nurses, 21 medical technologists, 27 nursing attendants, and 34 utility workers.
The governor said the salaries of the hired hospital personnel will be sourced from the savings of the 12 district hospitals.
“We have to prepare for the next source [of funding and] that is why we need to declare the state of calamity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado, Provincial Health Office (PHO) head, said rural health units in municipalities should serve as hydration units.
She said, however, that if dengue patients already experience bleeding and vomiting, among other warning signs, they should be admitted.
She warned that parents and guardians should not be complacent when a child’s fever subsides since the patient can possibly be in the “critical period.”
“The patient might already be experiencing bleeding or his or her body organs might already be swollen,” she said.
PHO’s data from Jan. 1 to July 6 show the province already recorded 5,435 cases of dengue with 20 deaths.
On Monday, the Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Region 6 (DOH-CHD 6) with the concurrence of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III declared a dengue outbreak in Western Visayas.
Negros Occidental, on the other hand, was placed on alert status.
In Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Gov. Wilter Yap Palma ordered all mayors of the 16 local government units to conduct synchronized fogging as the entire province has been placed under a state of calamity due to the rising cases of dengue, which hit 2,908 cases since January.
Also on Tuesday, the Palace released a copy of a law President Duterte signed requiring surveillance of and response to notifiable diseases.
The law directs the Department of Health (DOH), through its Epidemiology Bureau, to implement the mandatory watch and reporting of notifiable diseases and health events that concern public health.
The DOH is also asked to establish and maintain a mechanism for disease surveillance and response, in coordination with local government units and health facilities across the country.
Under the law, all doctors, medical personnel, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, institutions, and non-government agencies are mandated to report on notifiable diseases as issued by the DOH.
It also requires investigations on disease outbreaks including an interview with patients, review of medical records, and laboratory investigations. With PNA