No spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitals to expand capacity for severe cases, says Bernadas
There is no spike in COVID-19 cases in Cebu City although there was an increase in the number of symptomatic cases, said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional director of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas.
Bernadas made this clarification during the virtual press conference with Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.; IATF-EID deputy chief implementer Secretary Vince Dizon; Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino and other government officials.
“Dili ni siya spike, increasing ang nakita nato.The (epidemic) curve remains the same. Ang spike kanang mokalit ug taas ug maayo (It’s not a spike; we observed an increasing number of symptomatic cases. A spike means a sharp increase), Dr. Bernadas said.
He explained that there was a backlog of the test specimens, which was accumulated weeks before June1, which was the start of the general community quarantine.
Bernardas emphasized that these supposed increase could not be attributed to the general community quarantine (GCQ). “These were all cases during the time we were on ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and a lot of contact tracing has been conducted,” he pointed out.
“The backlogs have been accumulated during the past two weeks prior to June 1. The past two weeks were reflective of those test specimens that were submitted earlier. Meaning the specimens that were on a ‘spike’ during the past week were specimens taken during the ECQ time,” Bernadas said.
He further noted that they have corrected the data, attributing these to the days they were collected, and to the days when the symptoms started.
On the alleged shortage of hospital capacity, Dr. Bernadas emphasized that the private hospitals could still expand their capability to accept COVID-19 cases. “The dedicated COVID beds are being increased at present. The hospitals are responding by adding more beds or adding more rooms for our COVID patients,” he said.
He recalled that these hospitals had reduced the number of beds they had initially allocated for COVID-19 patients after they experienced few admissions of symptomatic cases.
According to Bernadas, the hospitals are now addressing this concern and would be making available more beds dedicated to COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Virginia Abalos of Chong Hua Hospital, who also attended the virtual press conference, confirmed that the private hospitals still have room for COVID patients.
“I’d like to speak for the private hospitals. Most private hospitals today admit less than the number of patients that we used to admit prior to COVID. Like, for example, for Chong Hua Hospital our daily admission is only like one-third of what we used to have,” Dr. Abalos said.
“So, I agree with Director Bernadas. If you look at the total number of admissions to the hospital, we still have a lot of beds available. It’s really more of the COVID beds are being filled up. But now as mentioned we are responding by increasing the available beds for them,” she added.
Meanwhile, Secretary Galvez expressed confidence in the Cebu’s capability to fight the pandemic.
“I believe with the collective partnership of the private sector and LGUs (local government units) are one against the COVID. We found out that Metro Cebu and the province are capable of overcoming COVID. While initially, there is an increase (in cases), I believe in the near future, we can manage, contain the virus,” Galvez said./PR