Malacañang claims hospitals have enough beds for COVID-19 patients

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 14 2020 02:08 PM

A health worker inside a temporary emergency room for non COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Quezon City on April 28, 2020. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Philippine hospitals have enough beds for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients, Malacañang said Tuesday, even as the health department warned that medical centers' capacity for virus cases have reached the "danger zone."

COVID-19 patients occupy more than 70 percent of hospital beds assigned to accommodate them, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said.

But Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this is still "manageable," citing information from Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega who was recently named as "treatment czar."

At least 2 private hospitals on Monday said their intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients have reached "full capacity," while the National Kidney and Transplant Institute said it has reached the "danger zone."

"Overall sapat sapat naman po ang ating hospital beds, kasama po ang ICU beds. Kung puno na ang hospital na gusto niyong pasukan, sasabihan naman po kayo kung saan pwede magpunta kung kinakailangan ng ICU care," Roque told reporters.

(Overall, we have enough hospital beds, including ICU beds. If the hospital you want to be admitted to is full, government will refer you to another if you need ICU care.)

Vega, as treatment czar, will coordinate with hospitals so government would know where to refer virus patients, Roque added as he denied speculation that the Health undersecretary was poised to replace Health chief Francisco Duque.

The Philippines as of Monday reported 57,006 cases of COVID-19, with 20,371 recoveries and 1,599 deaths.