BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Local members of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases expressed alarm yesterday over what they called a slowly escalating problem of Covid-19 infections in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.
In a press conference yesterday, Dr. Dolores Rommela Ruiz, PSMID president, said they noticed that the Covid cases are rapidly spreading among family members.
Ruiz said that, lately, they have seen more severe and critical cases of Covid, with some patients even needing intubation.
She said the hospitals in Bacolod have been overwhelmed by the growing number of Covid patients and many beds intended for those who have been infected by the disease have been utilized.
Ruiz said they have a lot of Covid patients, who are waiting for their turn to be admitted to various hospitals in the City.
PSMID records show that 30 patients are waitlisted at the Bacolod Lady of Mercy Specialty Hospital, 50 at the Riverside Medical Center, and 30 at the Bacolod Doctors’ Hospital.
Even if there are available beds for Covid patients, hospitals could still not admit them due to lack of manpower, Ruiz said.
Aside from the fact that many hospitals are understaffed, some hospital personnel were also hit by Covid themselves and are in isolation, she said.
The Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, in fact, is currently not accepting patients who have mild to moderate symptoms of Covid, its chief, Dr. Julius Drilon, said.
Dr. Jeannette Umali, also a member of the PSMID local chapter, said the manpower in different Bacolod hospitals is dwindling.
At the government-run CLMMRH, the ratio is one nurse for every five patients while at the Bacolod Doctors’ Hospital, it is one nurse for every seven patients.
PSMID noted that many patients, who could not be admitted due to lack of hospital personnel, have opted to stay at home but are closely monitored.
MORE HEALTHCARE WORKERS
Mayor Evelio Leonardia has directed Emergency Operations Center executive director Em Ang to coordinate with the Department of Health for the possible hiring of additional healthcare workers for the city.
Ang said that, in a recent meeting, she was told by the DOH Region 6 that the augmentation of health personnel for Western Visayas is still being realigned.
Despite the increasing number of Covid infections in Bacolod, the PSMID is not keen on asking for a stricter quarantine status for the city. They said that to address the problem, the people should abide with the minimum health protocols instead.*