The national government is urging public and private hospitals to increase the number of dedicated beds for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients under a new resolution drafted by the government’s pandemic response managers.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this announcement through Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 104 after health authorities said the occupancy of intensive-care beds for Covid-19 in Metro Manila hospitals was “alarming” following a spike in Covid-19 cases in the region.
The OCTA research group earlier warned that Metro Manila hospitals could hit 100 percent capacity by the first week of April if the surge is not controlled.
“Hospitals must increase the number of dedicated beds for Covid-19 patients,” Roque said in Filipino in a virtual presser.
Roque said hospitals in the private sector must raise their health system capacity to care for Covid-19 patients to 30 percent while public sector must raise the capacity to 50 percent.
The IATF-EID resolution also directs concerned agencies to ensure appropriate patient care navigation through the use of One Hospital Command Center (OHCC), Oplan Kalinga, and local government unit call centers with referral of mild and moderate cases to available temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs).
“We appeal to those asymptomatic or mild Covid-19 cases to stay in TTMFs to give more hospitals rooms for serious Covid-19 cases,” he added.
IATF-EID Resolution No. 104 also directs the local government units (LGUs) to enhance house-to-house search for mild and symptomatic Covid-19 patients and transfer them to a quarantine facility.
“This is the house-to-house search to look for, isolate, and test those with symptoms,” Roque said.
Also under the resolution is an order to increase and improve facility-based quarantine and isolation through the Oplan Kalinga.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was also directed to ensure that the protocols for isolation and quarantine area completed before facilitating reintegration within the community.
DILG must also distribute masks and face shields, especially to the vulnerable sectors to monitor and ensure compliance of households.
Under the ‘Oplan Kalinga’, health workers and village officials, assisted by the police, will facilitate the transport of all confirmed Covid-19 patients, either showing mild symptoms or asymptomatic to government isolation facilities to protect their family members from being infected.
OHCC is a centralized system that Filipinos can call prior to seeking medical assistance so that they are guaranteed a slot at an available and appropriate healthcare facility.