DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 May) — The COVID-19 beds of the state-owned Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) are either fully occupied or nearly all occupied due to a surge in cases.
All its 35 intensive care unit (ICU) beds (100%) and 273 of its 292 ward beds (93.5%) were reported to be occupied as of 12 noon on May 24, the SPMC posted on its Facebook page.
The SPMC is the largest COVID-19 referral hospital in the city for moderate, several, and critical cases.
As of May 24, Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 15,931 cases in Davao City out of the region’s total of 26,144.
In one week the number of cases increased by 620, from 15,311 to 15,391.
On May 17, the city recorded 15,311 cases (692 active, 13,905 recoveries and 714 deaths). A week later, the number rose to 15,931 (1,037 active, 14,159 recoveries, and 735 deaths).
Mayor Sara Duterte s told radio station DCDR on Monday that she is “not comfortable with what is happening now with our hospitals because the moment we see private hospitals are open, it means SPMC is full.”
“Of all hospitals, SPMC is the biggest. This means, when our biggest hospital for severe and critical cases is already full, it’s a sign that there is trouble so we are not comfortable with what is happening right now,” she said.
The mayor said the city government will likely require anew the use of food and medicine (FM) passes to access essential goods and services to restrict the movement of the people due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
She said this will be discussed by the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force.
“That is a possibility, and can be discussed at the level of our Davao City COVID-19 Task Force. We’re ready with our FM pass system. They have told us a long time ago that they are ready and that they have distributed all their materials,” she said.
Last March 15, the mayor lifted the requirement of FM pass. Residents were advised to present their Safe Davao QR (DQR) codes upon entry to business establishments to access essential goods and services, when the number of COVID-19 cases started going down.
Under the FM pass ordinance passed last December 15, 2020, FM pass holders must follow the odd/even scheme. Passes with last digits 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 can only be used on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 can only be used on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The pass cannot be used on a Sunday or during curfew hours. Minors and senior citizens cannot be issued an FM pass, unless it can be proven by the barangay that such individuals live alone or live with others who may also be immunocompromised.
The measure also imposes a fine of P5,000 against any person who will be caught changing any important information in the FM pass such as the names of the holder or the control number, producing fake FM pass, and using any tampered or forged FM pass. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)