To shift to MGCQ, Metro Manila needs to expand COVID-19 hospital bed capacity— official

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2020 06:00 PM

A mall employee disinfects the hand railing of an escalator inside the V-Mall in San Juan City on June 4, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA— Metro Manila needs to expand its hospital bed capacity for COVID-19 patients to transition to the lowest community quarantine level by next month, a health official said Thursday, as prevailing virus restrictions are set to expire.

The COVID-19 critical care utilization in Metro Manila needs to be below 60 percent if the capital region plans to transition to modified general community quarantine, treatment czar and Health Undersecretary Bong Vega said.

The current critical care utilization in Metro Manila is at 65 percent, he added. This figure refers to the percentage of hospital beds occupied, reflecting the number of COVID-19 patients in need of critical care.

"It means that kailangan if you are to move towards MGCQ, dapat mas below ka ‘no (it needs to be lower)," he said.

"You must be below at least 60 percent which is really a medium risk," he said, noting that availability of isolation facilities is also a factor.

Metro Manila, the country's coronavirus epicenter, is under general community quarantine until Sept. 30.

As of Thursday, the capital region still leads the tally of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines with 802 new infections.

The Philippines has so far confirmed 296,755 COVID-19 infections, of which 59,700 are active cases.