More E. Visayas areas under Alert Level 4 likely

More areas in Eastern Visayas will be placed under Alert Level 4 if the hospital utilization rate will continue to increase, the Department of Health (DOH) regional office here warned on Tuesday.

Presently, only Northern Samar is placed under the higher level category until January 31 while the rest are under Alert Level 3, but DOH regional epidemiology and surveillance unit chief Marc Steven Capungcol said alert level status could be escalated in three other areas.

This city and Ormoc City have high hospital utilization rates as of January 25 at 73.38 percent and 81.36 percent, respectively. Health facilities in these two cities are tagged as high risk.

Currently, Eastern Visayas has a hospital bed utilization rate of 60.68 percent, considered as medium risk.

Capungcol said if admissions of asymptomatic and mild Covid-19 patients in hospitals will continue, this will result in a higher alert level status of all areas in the region.

“According to the health facility unit, based on the data they are collecting, there are many hospitals from these provinces that are still admitting asymptomatic and mild cases,” Capungcol said.

Meanwhile, the city government here has asked mayors in other parts of Eastern Visayas not to bring asymptomatic Covid-19 patients and those with mild symptoms to hospitals based in this city.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez observes that it has been the practice of local government units to refer almost all confirmed Covid-19 carriers to hospitals in the city, resulting in overcrowding of health facilities.

“I am asking help, in a very kind manner, for our local governments to isolate them in their respective areas, especially if they are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms,” Romualdez said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

He said admitting all Covid-19 patients in hospitals has increased the bed utilization rate, leaving no space for those with severe symptoms who need more medical attention.

“It’s a blessing that there are less fatalities, but let us not be overconfident and that is why I am saying this so that we can focus on this,” he added.

Capungcol said mild and asymptomatic cases can be managed at the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities of the local governments.

As of January 25, the region has already recorded 58,695 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 54,091 recoveries, and 635 deaths. This brings the total active cases to 3,969.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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