BACOLOD CITY–With Bacolod City’s healthcare system overwhelmed and understaffed, medical doctors in the metro are warning of a far serious situation than people might think.
“All hospitals have reached full bed capacity, with all the rooms or bed allocated for COVID-19 patients occupied,” stated Dr. Rommela Tiples-Ruiz, infectious diseases specialist and president of Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases-Negros Occidental, in a virtual press conference on Wednesday night.
In fact, she added, as of Wednesday, the Bacolod Queen of Mercy Hospital has a total of 30 COVID-19 waitlisted patients; the Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital has more than 50 waitlisted patients, and The Doctors’ Hospital, more than 30 COVID-19 patients.
The Adventist Medical Center-Bacolod also announced that it has reached full capacity.
The city’s lone public hospital, the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, earlier this week announced that its allocation for beds for COVID-19 patients is all filled up.
“There are also more severe or critical cases,” Tiple-Ruiz added. “Making it worse is the lack of nurses.”
The city government has asked the help of the national government and Army to send additional nurses to the city.
On Monday, the Department of Health classified Bacolod City as a high-risk area for COVID-19.
Records of the city’s Emergency Operations Center showed that there have been 277 COVID-19 deaths since March last year with the highest number of deaths at 76 in September 2020 and 50 in May 2021.
Bacolod also reached its highest number of cases in September 2020 with 2,607 and 2,231 in May this year.
“There is a need to raise more public awareness on the dangers of the deadly virus as it seems people are no longer scared of it,” Tiples-Ruiz stressed.
She said there are even reports of people refusing to be swabbed for COVID-19, making it impossible to identify positive cases and do contact tracing.
This deep into the pandemic, there are still people who do not wear masks and continue to attend mass gatherings, she said.
Tiples-Ruiz said that no matter what quarantine status is imposed, “if people do no observe health protocols, it would still have no impact on the spread of the virus.”
She said that there are things that can be done without a higher quarantine status to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNEWS-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)