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Davao targeting 1,000 beds for COVID-19 to declog healthcare facilities

The city government is scrambling to prepare 1,000 beds for COVID-19 patients to avoid overloading the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

In a radio interview with UNTV News and Rescue, Mayor Sara Durerte said they have been warned by medical doctors that the current bed capacity dedicated to confirmed patients is not enough.

It can be recalled that the local government has designated persons under investigation (PUI) centers, but they have been renamed as COVID-19 centers. These facilities, however, are not hospitals.

“We have 11 facilities. Our agreement before with the Department of Health is that when the COVID-19 patient is stable and has only mild symptoms, or even if he is a probable suspect or positive, to refer them to our centers so that we will handle them as they do not need medical interventions,” Duterte said.

The mayor said there are currently 416 beds covering 11 designated COVID-19 facilities in the city. Although those are more than sufficient for the current number of patients, government officials and doctors are always thinking of the worst-case scenario.

Duterte said they have already identified two more facilities to be converted into COVID-19 centers.

“The two facilities have the capacity to provide 200 beds. Once these are ready, there will be a total of 616 beds, but the doctors say it is still not enough for our preparation,” she said.

Beds occupied

For now, only three of the existing 11 COVID-19 centers are used. Center A has a bed capacity of 30, which now has 15 admitted patients; Center B with 22 beds, with three admitted patients; and Center C with 57 beds, which already have 16 patients admitted.

“If you can see, our centers are not fully occupied. But we are always reminded by our doctors not to be complacent, which is why we need to prepare for more hospital beds,” Duterte said.

Duterte also noted that there are only two designated COVID-19 hospitals in Davao Region–the SPMC and the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC).
The city intends to open some private hospitals to take care of COVID-19 patients.

“For now, they (government hospitals) are still not overwhelmed. But of course, the DOH, city government of Davao, and the regional task force in Region XI are thinking about the worst-case scenario,” Duterte said.

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