NTF forms oxygen command center, standby medical teams

Philippine News AgencyOctober 12, 2021

MANILA – The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 has created the One Oxygen Command Center to be deployed nationwide to prevent and address the shortage of medical oxygen supply.

The NTF has also started the augmentation of health care workers in Metro Manila hospitals while more hospital beds for Covid-19 patients are now vacant.

Medical teams, composed of a doctor, five nurses, and two medical aides, are on standby for deployment anytime.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, also the NTF chairperson, said the government will issue guidelines to ensure speedy movement of oxygen supplies in various ports.

"Maglalabas tayo ng polisiya para magkaroon ng green lane sa mga pantalan para sa mabilis na paggalaw ng oxygen supply at tiyakin na hindi mawawalan ng supply ng kuryente sa mga plantang gumagawa ng medical oxygen (We will issue a policy to have a green lane in ports to ensure faster movement of oxygen supply and make sure that medical oxygen plants will not lose power supply)," Lorenzana said in his report during a televised public briefing on Tuesday.

Lorenzana said NTF's recalibrated crisis action plan has contributed to the reduction of cases, particularly in the high-risk areas.

For one, the average hospital occupancy rate of beds for Covid-19 patients decreased from 31 percent last week to 27 percent as of current data.

"Dumadami na po 'yung ating bakanteng beds (The number of vacant Covid-19 beds are increasing)," he said.

Lorenzana also cited the gradual decrease in the health care utilization rate which stands at 60 percent this week, lower than the 64 percent recorded from September 27 to October 1 and 68 percent from September 20 to 26.

Urging the public to get Covid-19 vaccine shots, Lorenzana said about 64 percent of intubated patients under intensive critical care are unvaccinated.

He also mentioned a significant decrease in the positivity rate among returning overseas Filipinos (OFs) -- down to 1.75 percent from the 1.8 percent in previous weeks.

Isolation facilities for returning OFs and repatriated OF workers also increased to up to 82,442 quarantine rooms in Metro Manila, Clark Pampanga, Cebu, and Subic. (PNA)

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