Calabarzon private hospitals told: Increase COVID-19 beds

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    WITH the critical care utilization rate in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon) region still in the warning zone, the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday called on private hospitals in Region 4-A to increase their bed allocation for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

    Speaking during the visit of the National Task Force against COVID-19 in Cavite, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III appealed to private hospitals in the region to heed the call of the national government.

    “It cannot just be government hospitals responding to the crisis. We need both the private and public sector as complimentary team of capacities,” said Duque.

    “This is why I am now appealing to our private hospitals here, if it’s possible to increase their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients,” he said.

    He urged local government officials of Cavite to echo the DOH’s appeal to private medical facilities in their jurisdictions.

    “We hope that our mayors can also make a call to the private sector for them to increase to 30 percent their COVID-19 bed capacity,” said Duque.

    As of August 12, 69 percent of the 541 total ward beds in Calabarzon are already occupied.
    Data also shows that 58 percent of the 1,300 total isolation beds are occupied; while 54 percent of the 167 total ICU beds are being utilized.

    Meanwhile, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said 17,910 classrooms or 50 percent of the current number of classrooms in public schools will be made available and will be ready to accommodate COVID-19 patients should there be a need to augment bed capacities of healthcare facilities.

    Briones said the Department of Education (DepED) has been coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) in identifying public schools that it may use in case they need additional establishments for the isolation and quarantine of COVID-19 patients.

    She said the schools to be used would be far from communities, would have ample water supply and would be located near health centers. – With Jocelyn Montemayor