CENTRAL Visayas’ total number of active coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases surpassed the 17,000 mark on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.
According to the Department of Health (DOH) 7, the region logged 17,058 active cases after the agency reported 1,150 confirmed cases out of the 4,573 samples tested in 14 laboratories on Saturday.
Of the new cases, 481 were reported in Cebu Province, 282 in Cebu City, 189 in Bohol, 80 in Lapu-Lapu City, 79 in Mandaue City, 37 in Negros Oriental and two in Siquijor.
A total of 23 deaths were added on Saturday, 18 of which occurred this month and five others in July.
A total of 488 names were also added to the recovery list on Saturday: 165 from Cebu City, 163 from Cebu Province, 88 from Lapu-Lapu City and 72 from Mandaue City.
DOH 7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas earlier said that although Covid-19 cases in the region were still increasing, they could see a “sign of relief” because hospitals can already “somehow” decrease the number of individuals lining up in emergency rooms.
Based on the critical care utilization rate (CCUR) report of the DOH 7 on Aug. 20, the combined number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid patients in the region’s level 1, 2 and 3 hospitals is 261 of which 201 are occupied, or 77 percent.
Of the 977 ward beds allocated for Covid-19 patietns in infirmaries and hospitals in Central Visayas, 668 are currently in use, or around 68 percent.
The DOH 7 said a CCUR within 60 percent is considered a “safe level.”
Infirmaries and level 1, 2 and 3 hospitals in the region also allocated a total of 1,573 isolation beds of which 946 are already in use, or around 60 percent.
Meanwhile, Dr. Gerardo Aquinio, chief of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, said the hospital plans to add 105 more beds to the current 206 available beds for Covid-19 patients.
In a statement, he said expanding hospital bed capacity and the setting up of modified temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) were discussed in a coordination meeting organized by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas with the DOH 7, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and other concerned agencies.
Aquino said doctors and nurses will be deployed to the Department of Public Works and Highways 7’s modified TTMFs. The TTMFs will have laboratory equipment, but not ICUs.
The TTMFs will cater to mild and moderate cases. The utilization of TTMFs is seen to help unclog emergency rooms of hospitals.
The Cebu City Government is also set to open the Cebu City Medical Center’s (CCMC) facility at the Bureau of Fire Protection 7 compound along N. Bacalso Ave.
This will be done once all the hospital’s non-Covid patients are transferred to the CCMC’s new building across the street on Panganiban St. corner N. Bacalso Ave.
Retired Mayor General Melquiades Feliciano, IATF Visayas chief implementer, said Cebu City will have a TTMF located beside the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home Complex at the South Road Properties.
He also suggested using hotels that currently serve as TTMFs as step-down facilities for patients who can be discharged from hospitals but are waiting to be transported back to their hometowns.
The Allied Care Experts Medical Center Cebu on N. Bacalso Ave. in Barangay Basak Pardo, Cebu City is also set to make available 52 Covid-19 beds as soon as additional nurses will be deployed to the hospital. (WBS with PR)