DOH tags 4 regions as ‘high risk’, cites few vacant COVID-19 beds in parts of PH

By CNN Philippines Staff

Four regions in the Visayas and Mindanao are currently tagged as “high risk” for COVID-19 in terms of their case data and trends, a Department of Health official said Wednesday.

“These are Caraga, Regions 6 (Western Visayas), 11 (Davao) and 12 (Soccsksargen),” DOH chief epidemiologist Alethea de Guzman said in an online media forum.

An area is considered high risk if its average daily attack rate or ADAR, defined as the number of infected people per 100,000 population, reaches above seven. Officials earlier said the higher the ADAR in a place, the higher a person’s risk of getting the infectious disease there.

Meanwhile, the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and Bicol are under “moderate risk” status, De Guzman said.

The remaining regions, including Metro Manila, are now at “low risk” for COVID-19, she added.

ICU capacity in parts of PH dwindling

De Guzman also flagged several areas for having high COVID-19 bed occupancy rates as of June 21.

Around 70% to nearly 85% of ICU beds in Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and Soccsksargen were occupied as of June 21, she reported.

De Guzman said 33 cities and provinces were experiencing “continuous case increase as well as high to critical risk healthcare utilization rates and ICU utilization rates.”

Meanwhile, almost all the COVID-19 beds, mainly in critical care units, in six other provinces were occupied despite their low COVID-19 case counts, the epidemiologist noted.

Based on the data presented by De Guzman during the forum, 95% of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients in Zambales were being used. Close to 90% of ICU beds in Tarlac were occupied while the occupancy rates in critical care units in Pampanga, Misamis Occidental, and Benguet ranged from 70% to over 83%.

Meanwhile, the isolation beds in Oriental Mindoro were more than 81% occupied.

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