Hundreds of hospitals in Philippines are nearing full capacity, with Manila under new lockdown

Hundreds of hospitals, nearly a fifth across the Philippines, are almost at full capacity as coronavirus cases run rampant, with the south-east Asian country’s capital, Manila, just having entered a period of lockdown.

The country’s health ministry shared on Monday that almost a fifth of hospitals in the Philippines, 236 out of 1,291, are at 85% capacity due to the surge in coronavirus cases, reaching “critical levels.”

Medical facilities in the capital Manila are observing a similar trend, as 25 out of 159 hospitals there are nearing full occupancy. A spokesperson for the health ministry, Maria Rosario Vergeire, warned that, even despite the implementation of the strictest lockdown measures in Manila, “it is highly possible the cases will continue to rise.”

Metro Manila entered a two-week shutdown period on Friday to halt the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown across the region’s 16 cities has placed 13 million residents under a stay-at-home order, with public gatherings suspended and dining establishments shut until August 20.

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The decision to place the country’s capital under its strictest level of Covid curbs was made after the OCTA Research group warned that a spike in coronavirus cases could paralyze the healthcare system. The group estimated that hospital beds could reach 70% occupancy in under five weeks, while intensive care unit beds would reach the same capacity in under three weeks.

The circuit-breaker-style lockdown is also being used as a period in which to vaccinate more of the population. City officials have set the target to inoculate four million of Manila’s residents. Scenes of chaos occurred on the day before the capital’s shutdown, as floods of people poured into malls in a bid to get jabbed.

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Coronavirus cases in the country are ticking up, with the caseload ranging between 8,000 to 10,000 per day. On Saturday, the country reported its highest daily total of new infections since mid-April, registering over 11,000 cases.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Philippines has reported over 1.6 million cases, with the coronavirus claiming 29,128 lives.

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Source:RT World News

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