Hospital utilization rate yet to change amid spike in cases

By GISELLE OMBAY, GMA News

Published December 29, 2021 8:37pm

Hospital utilization rates for COVID-19 cases have yet to change even after the reported steep increase in infections over the Christmas holidays, the Department of Health.

In a Balitanghali interview, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the rise in the daily positivity rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) to over 5% had yet to translate to an increase in utilization of hospitals .

“Hanggang sa ngayon, ‘yung utilization natin sa ospital ay hindi pa ho nababago (until now, our hospital utilization hasn’t changed)–we have 17% utilization for our health system,” Vergeire said.

“Ibig sabihin, hindi po puno ang ating mga ospital (this means that are hospitals are not full),” she added.

Vergeire, however, said that there were some hospitals that recorded a rise in patients saying they had COVID-19-related symptoms.

Based on the DOH’s latest bulletin, 20% of 3,500 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients nationwide are in use.

Eleven percent of the 12,200 ward beds in the country are utilized, while 17% of the 3,700 ward beds in the NCR are in use.

Dr. Guido David of the independent think tank OCTA Research said it was the first time the positivity rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) has risen above 5% since October 24.

He also added that the seven-day positivity rate in NCR was now at 2.4%.

David said that new cases in the country were “projected to hit 1,200 by December 29, 2021, with at least 400 in the NCR.”

While Vergeire said that this positivity rate rise was due to the increased mobility of the people during the holiday season, she stressed that it was important that there has not been a filling of patients in the hospitals yet.

The Philippines on Wednesday logged 889 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 2,839,790.

There were 214 more patients who recovered from the viral disease which brings the total recoveries to 2,778,131, while the death toll rose to 51,214 with 28 new fatalities. –NB, GMA News

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