Utilization of COVID-19 ward beds in Davao Region nears “danger zone”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 August) -– The utilization level of ward beds for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Davao region has nearly reached the “danger zone,” according to the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao.

Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of DOH-Davao, said that while the COVID-19 ward beds are still within the “warning zone,” its utilization level was already at 60.49-percent as of August 20, very close to the “danger zone” of from 71-percent to 100-percent.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

The bed capacity is considered in the “safe zone” when the occupancy rate is from one to 30 percent, and warning zone from 31to 70-percent.

According to Tabada, the occupancy rate for other COVID-19 beds has remained within the “warning level:” isolation beds at 39.47-percent; intensive care unit beds at 41.86-percent, severe cases at 43.54 percent, and severe to critical at 43.38 percent.

She said at least 9.80 percent of the mechanical ventilators have been used already.

“We do not want critical cases to be in but we are still well capable, but if you look at other services and capacities, the utilization level is quite high already,” she said.

She added that the increase in the utilization level indicates more COVID-19 cases are being handled by local health authorities at the designated facilities.

But Tabada added that the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City can still expand its number of beds, if the situation warrants.

SPMC’s OIC Chief  Dr. Ricardo Audan assured the government hospital could still manage the surge in cases.

The total number of returning residents who tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from May 16 until August 19 totaled 639, comprising 34.93-percent of the total cases in Davao Region, she added.

Of this number, Tabada said 193 COVID-19 cases are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 446 are locally stranded individuals (LSIs).

The Davao Region has recorded a total of 32,957 LSIs and ROFs.

Based on her report, the region started seeing a spike in the number of COVID-19 positive returning residents in July with 381 and 171 for the first 19 days of August from 16 in May and 71 in June. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)