MANILA, Philippines — To decongest 30 to 40 percent of COVID-19 beds in National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area hospitals, the Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing the transfer of mild or asymptomatic patients from hospitals to isolation facilities.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire yesterday said that based on a census of hospitals, almost 41 percent of admitted patients are mild and asymptomatic, therefore do not need to be hospitalized.
These patients can be extracted and then placed in isolation centers to free up much-needed beds in COVID-19 wards.
“We have analyzed that if we can remove the mild and asymptomatic from the hospitals, we can have at least 30 to 40 additional beds available for patients who really need hospitals the most,” she told a press briefing.
In communities, a triage system manned by medical officers determines if a COVID-19 patient should go to a hospital or an isolation facility.
According to Vergeire, the DOH is closely coordinating with local government units (LGUs) to establish more isolation facilities. She gave assurance that government is strengthening isolation capabilities in the community.
“We have been going around to look for big isolation areas for LGUs. We were able to identify a place where we can put 257 beds for isolation,” she said.
Hotels have also been converted into temporary quarantine facilities, an idea supported by Sen. Nancy Binay.
“They (hotels) have the backbone in providing viable solutions to quarantine challenges at this very critical time. I am one with the PCP in urging the IATF to study this proposal at the soonest,” Binay said, noting that tapping hotels will lessen the burden on health workers and hospitals currently admitting severe cases.