The country’s critical care utilization rate has recently increased after more coronavirus patients have been confined in hospitals, a Palace official said Thursday.

ROQUE 3 - PH’s critical care utilization rate increases –Roque
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque bared that less than half of the 1,900 intensive care unit (ICU) beds are now left available for use as of Nov.18.

Giving the latest update on the coronavirus situation, Roque claimed that more senior citizens and other vulnerable individuals are now occupying these hospital beds to get medical care for the coronavirus.

“Sa ating critical care capacity po, mayroon pa po tayong 47% available sa ating ICU beds. Medyo tumaas po ang gumagamit ha (In our critical care capacity, there are 47 percent available of ICU beds. The utilization rate has increased),” he said during a televised press briefing.

“Bagama’t marami pa po tayong available, medyo kumaunti na po ngayon, dati in excess of 50% pa iyong available na ICU beds. (Although we have many available beds, these are much fewer now. Before, we had an excess of 50 percent in available ICU beds),” he said.

Roque also said 59 percent of 13,500 isolation beds are available while 70 percent of 5,900 ward beds are not yet in use as of Wednesday. Around 78 percent of the ventilators are also available.

He said although the country’s hospital capacity remained sufficient, the public must continue to observe health measures to avoid getting the coronavirus infection. Senior citizens and other people vulnerable to the illness are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. 

“So, ang mga senior citizens, iyong mga may sakit, mga buntis, manatili po tayo sa ating mga tahanan dahil alam naman po natin ito po iyong mga taong napupunta sa ICU beds. (The senior citizens, those will medical conditions, pregnant women should stay at home because we know these are the people who may be confined in ICU beds),” Roque said.

“Madali po nating maiwasan ito, kung may sakit, kung buntis, kung senior citizen, maging homeliners po (This can be easily avoided. If you have underlying medical conditions, if you’re pregnant, if you’re a senior citizen, be a homeliner,” he said.

The country’s cases of coronavirus have soared beyond 413,000 as of Thursday. The death toll is now at 7,998 while the recoveries reached 374,939.

After a few months of strict lockdown, the government has allowed the further reopening of the economy to stimulate business activity and employment. 

Easing movement restrictions is aimed at helping revive the economy which took a hit due to the pandemic during the second quarter of the year.

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