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Hospitals offer COVID-19 home care as occupancy rates shoot up amid surge

By CHUCK SMITH Published Apr 01, 2021 5:13 pm

With hospitals now at full capacity, a number of Filipinos have been forced to endure long waiting times to be admitted, with some even dying before setting foot inside a hospital.

In a now-viral Twitter thread, a netizen Angelo Barrera shared how his father died “in the cold” outside of a hospital, just next to the door of the emergency room. This was after they spent days trying to find a hospital with a vacancy.

Singer Claire dela Fuente, who died on Tuesday, passed away three days after testing positive for COVID-19. Prior to her demise, she also had to wait in a tent outside the hospital.

“She was actually staying in a tent outside the Las Piñas Doctors Hospital, waiting to be admitted. That’s where she stayed [on Saturday]. It wasn’t until yesterday (Monday) that she was transferred to Pope John Paul II Hospital and Medical Center, also in Las Piñas. And it was in the emergency room of that hospital where she passed away,” her son Gregorio de Guzman told GMA News.

The Department of Health reported Wednesday, March 31, that 79% percent of the total ICU beds in the National Capital Region are being utilized. Isolation beds, meanwhile, are at 60% percent capacity, and 61% of the ward beds are utilized.

But reports and personal accounts of COVID-19 patients as the country continues to experience a surge in new coronavirus cases seem to paint a different story.

Since last week, hospitals in Metro Manila and nearby areas have been announcing that their COVID-19 ward and ICU wards are now at full capacity.

Before Metro Manila and neighboring areas Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were placed in enhanced community quarantine last week, the OCTA Research said Metro Manila hospitals could reach 100% capacity by early April if no means are done to control the COVID-19 surge.

The surge, as well as the dwindling occupancy in hospitals, has prompted some to offer home care programs for COVID-19 patients and suspected patients. 

Here are some of those facilities.

1. The Medical City

The Medical City in Pasig City launched a COVID-19 home care program that offers packages for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. There are three-day programs for people waiting for their RT-PCR results or patients who cannot visit the hospital but are in need of a home service RT-PCR test and baseline diagnosis to rule out COVID-19. It also offers a 10-day program for COVID-19 patients who need close monitoring while completing their quarantine period.


2. Makati Medical Center

Makati Medical Center also offers home service swab testing for COVID-19, as well as other regular blood routine procedures and laboratory testings.

3. St. Luke's Global City

Meanwhile, St. Luke's Medical Center Institute of Pulmonary Medicine has launched a telemedicine program for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases, for patients who cannot visit the hospital. 

4. Healthway Philippines

Healthway Philippines also offers home service RT-PCR testing, as well as other mobile consultation and laboratory tests for those who wish to remain home while new daily COVID-19 cases remain high.

5. Hi-Precision Diagnostics

Hi-Precision Diagnostics, too, also offers home service testing.