- March 18, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Daily News
- A wider lockdown in the Philippines cannot be ruled out if its surge in COVID-19 infections continues, its health minister said on 17 Mar 21, as authorities announced strict curbs on international arrivals to arrest the virus spread.
- “If nothing changes and cases continue to rise, then the possibility of a more widespread lockdown is strong,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque told ANC news channel, adding he hoped that could be averted in the coming days.
- Though some curbs have been eased, many restrictions have been in place for a year, including inter-regional movement and the closure of schools.
- Several Manila hospitals have sounded the alarm as critical care facilities near capacity, although health authorities say they can cope.
- 20 hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) are now at “critical level” while 23 others are at the “higher risk level” due to the increasing occupancy rates of their COVID-19 wards, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi) said.
- “When you say high risk, 70 to 85% of their beds are occupied and it’s critical if at least 85% is up to its capacity,” PHAPi president Jose Rene de Grano said in an interview on 16 Mar 21 night with “The Chiefs” on OneNews.
- He noted that if the trend continues, there might be a repeat of the situation back in Aug 20, when COVID-19 beds became full in almost every hospital.
- He added that from around 80 calls in previous weeks, the OHC is now receiving around 250 calls a day, with most callers inquiring about COVID-19 hospitals that can still accept patients.
- To add to their woes, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has racked up unsettled bills totalling PHP6bn, leaving private hospitals struggling to get paid while facing the daunting task of combating COVID-19.
- Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi) president Jose Rene de Grano said many private hospitals are now struggling with their daily operations because of PhilHealth‘s delayed payments and appealed to the government to help them.
External Link : https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2B903W