ICU capacity in 3 areas in NCR Plus at ‘high risk’ — treatment czar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 16) — The cities of Makati and Muntinlupa, and Rizal province are still under the ‘high risk’ level in terms of bed occupancy in intensive care units for COVID-19 patients, the country's treatment czar said Wednesday.

The classification means 70 to 85% of the ICU beds are occupied.

"Mayroon kaming nakikita rin na mga cities kagaya ng Makati at Muntinlupa na medyo nasa high-risk position at saka sa Rizal province — ito iyong medyo mataas ang kanilang ICU utilization," Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said.

Vega said the limited number of allocated beds may be one of the main reasons behind the high utilization rate.

The official urged hospitals to tap the services of the One Hospital Command Center, which finds facilities that have vacant beds for COVID-19 patients, as he noted the overall occupancy in the National Capital Region falls under the safe level.

"Dito sa Metro Manila collectively, makikita natin bumaba naman talaga ang usage ng ICU at critical care beds," the czar said.

[Translation: Here in Metro Manila, we can see the usage of ICU at critical care beds was lower.]

"In fact, ang utilization rate ng mga ICU [beds] dito sa Metro Manila ay bumaba na sa mga 50%. Nasa low-risk category na siya," he added.

[Translation: In fact, utilization rate of ICU beds here in Metro Manila went down to 50%. It is in the low-risk category already.]

He said the government was able to increase the ICU beds by around 400 and open field hospitals in Metro Manila since March 28, which is why the ICU occupancy rate improved.

During the early stages of the surge in March, social media was flooded with stories of families of COVID-19 patients from Metro Manila going to outlying provinces in search of medical attention. Some were not able to make it inside health facilities even hours after waiting in line to be accommodated.

The Philippines has so far recorded 1,332,832 million cases nationwide, of which 23,121 resulted in deaths. Meanwhile, 1,253,541 have been tagged as recovered.