A total of 530 medical staff of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hospital are currently under quarantine after being exposed to patients being treated for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a statement issued to the Varsitarian, UST’s official campus paper, the UST Hospital management team said several consultants, fellows, residents, nurses, and aides are among those who are under quarantine, who were exposed to persons under investigation (PUIs).
“The recent days were quite challenging and unprecedented. We had to act on the rapid upsurge of COVID-related cases in our hospital, and the sudden reduction of our healthcare workforce because of mandatory quarantine of exposed staff,” the statement read.
The UST Hospital management said it will regulate admissions and stop elective procedures in selected units temporarily to address the issue of the hospital’s “depleted workforce.”
Hospital staff and trainees will also go on alternating skeletal duty schedules to limit exposure risks.
The Clinical Division Medical Ward has been designated as the Covid Unit for patients classified as COVID-positive, or patients under investigation.
The hospital also said the enhanced community quarantined further depleted its workforce, and there was a shortage of personal protective equipment.
UST Hospital assured the public that it was closely keeping track of the situation and would regularly release updates on the schedules of all operations units.
On March 17, UST Hospital discharged one patient who tested positive for COVID-19 based on the discharge criteria set by the Department of Health.
As of Sunday, there are 380 positive COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, with 25 deaths./Stacy Ang