Post-Holy Week surge in COVID cases likely: CHO
THE CITY Health Office (CHO) is anticipating a possible post-Holy Week increase in COVID-19 cases as the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) has recorded a 100% full-bed capacity status.
During the iSpeak Media Forum on April 13, CHO officer-in-charge Dr. Marjorie Culas said the long holidays saw people going to churches, beaches, and other gatherings without wearing face masks.
“We are on alert. If hospital beds are full and cases are high, where would critical patients go? They would need to be admitted to receive immediate medical attention and high-tech facilities,” Culas said. “We would be expecting an increase after two weeks, although our current cases are mostly asymptomatic and mild.”
She said that only SPMC and Davao Doctors Hospital cater to COVID-19 cases. That’s why the Department of Health (DOH) Region XI mandated all hospitals to allocate at least 20 percent of their bed capacity to patients.
The CHO chief also said they would meet with representatives of private hospitals on April 18 to discuss the matter.
Of Davao City’s total 234 active cases, 48 tested positive on April 12. Four patients are in isolation in a city-managed temporary treatment monitoring facility (TTMF), while the rest are isolated at home or in the hospitals.
Culas urged Davaoeños to get vaccinated in the city’s 18 district health centers every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or at the People’s Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays.
She also reiterated adherence to Executive Order (EO) No. 43, Series of 2022, which exempts voluntary face mask-wearing in healthcare facilities, including, but not limited to clinics, hospitals, laboratories, nursing homes, and dialysis clinics; medical transport vehicles (ambulance, paramedic rescue vehicles); and public transportation (land, air, and sea).
Mayor Sebastian Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 43, Series of 2022, known as “An Order Adopting Presidential Executive Order No. 03 Allowing The Voluntary Wearing Of Face Masks In Outdoor Settings And Reiterating The Continued Implementation Of The Minimum Public Health Standards In Davao City During The State Of Public Health Emergency Relative To The COVID-19 Pandemic,” effective Sept. 21, 2022.
Culas expressed her concern that some taking public transportation are no longer wearing face masks, which could increase the risk of COVID-19 infection since physical distancing is already not observed.
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