Region VII’s, Cebu province’s critical care facilities in ‘warning zone’

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The utilization of critical care facilities like hospital beds in Cebu province, as well in the whole Region VII,  have reached a “warning zone,” due to a recent spike of cases in the area, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed on Tuesday.

“In Cebu as of June 21 when we analyzed the data, while only 13 percent of the 19,718 dedicated community isolation beds are occupied, 58 percent of the 1,533 hospital beds are occupied,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a media briefing Tuesday.

More than half (56 percent) of intensive care unit beds are also occupied while 37 percent of mechanical ventilators are in use. This indicates the severity of COVID-19 cases in the province- a crucial metric in determining the impact of the coronavirus in the country.

“Hindi sila nasa critical level kasi ang critical level ay 70 percent and up. But they are in the warning zone already (They are not in the critical level because critical level is 70 percent and up. But they are in the warning zone already.),” Vergeire said.

“Kaya sila napunta sa ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) nung huli. Because their critical care utilization is already in that warning zone (That is why they were placed under ECQ last time. Because their critical care utilization is already in that warning zone.),” she said, referring to Cebu City.

Meanwhile, a DOH  message to reporters said:  “As of June 21, in Region VII, 58% of the 1,533 hospitals beds are occupied, 56% of the 110 ICU beds and 37% of mechanical ventilators are in use; in Cebu Province, 37.1% of hospital beds are occupied, 0% ICU beds occupied, and 12.5% of mechanical ventilators are used; in Cebu City, 85.3% hospital beds occupied, 60.3% ICU beds are occupied, and 36.0% mechanical ventilators are occupied.”

“We need to monitor closely the critical care capacity in region 7. The whole region is classified as in warning zone with Cebu City having higher utilization rates. Currently, Cebu has been increasing its supply of dedicated beds for COVID-19 cases which can help ensure the health system is not overwhelmed,” the DOH statement also read.

Government placed Cebu City back under ECQ on June 16 following two weeks under general quarantine as COVID-19 cases continued to spike. Talisay City, also in Cebu province, was meanwhile placed under modified enhanced community quarantine. Both quarantine levels will remain in effect until the end of the month.

Quarantine in levels in other parts of the country have, meanwhile, eased. /Stacy Ang

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