DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Both the city of government of Davao and Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) are experiencing difficulties to hire more personnel to address the surge of COVID-19 cases in Davao Region.
With active cases reaching more than 8,000 in recent weeks, SPMC Chief Dr. Ricardo Audan said the hospital is facing another challenge as a majority of its personnel, mostly those attending to COVID-19 patients, also tested positive for the virus.
A total of 891 medical staff of SPMC were affected by COVID-19. During its two-week routine swab, 544 were confirmed positive, while the remaining 248 were suspected cases still waiting for their test results.
“The cases has surged, we are reaching the 1,000 mark. The transmission is faster compared to the Delta variant which affected only 200 employees,” Audan said.
SPMC issued an advisory last January 21 that it will only cater moderate to critical COVID-19 cases “due to the influx of COVID-19 cases that have maximized our hospital beds.”
Only non-COVID “urgent and emergency cases” will be allowed admission.
As of Jan. 26, SPMC’s CoVID-19 unit consisting of 87 ICU beds and 455 ward beds are fully occupied.
Due to the full occupancy and “overwhelmed” staff of SPMC, private hospitals have began to admit COVID-19 patients, says Davao City COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser
The Davao City COVID-19 Task Force meanwhile continues to look for additional personnel for its COVID-19 response that includes vaccine rollout, testing and treatment facilities.
During Mayor Sara Duterte Monday’s Special Hour program on Davao City Disaster Radio, she did not mention the number of needed personnel for the city’s COVID-19 response, she said that the problem has always been there since the local government started its testing and vaccine rollouts.
Meanwhile, the Critical Risk barangay classification has increased from 74 to 105, while there are now 20 barangays under High Risk and an additional 18 considered in the same classification due to their proximity to the critical risk barangays of the city.
The remaining 18 barangays are under moderate risk and the other two have the same classification due to their distance from barangays considered high risk. (davaotoday.com)