DOH-Central Visayas, other agencies implement strategies to address surge in Covid cases

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EXPANDING hospital bed capacity and the setting up of modified temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) are among the measures identified to address the surge in Covid-19 cases.

These measures were discussed during a coordination meeting organized by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav), the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas, Inter-Agency Task Force and other concerned agencies.

Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr. said the hospital plans to add another 105 beds to the current 206 available beds for Covid-19 patients.

In an earlier interview, Dr. Aquino revealed that they will also be using the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) facility at the South Road Properties, Cebu City as a step-down referral facility.

This will add another 32 beds and will be operated as an extension hospital of VSMMC.

Aquino earlier explained that the modified DPWH TTMF will have its own doctors and nurses, laboratory and equipment but would not have an intensive care unit.

The Cebu City Government will also open the Cebu City Medical Center’s facility at the Bureau of Fire Protection compound along N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City for Covid-19 patients.

This plan will be implemented after all its non-Covid patients are transferred to the CCMC new building on Panganiban Street corner N. Bacalso Avenue.

Meanwhile, the setting up of modified TTMFs has been proposed, so it could be used as a step-down facility and for the treatment of mild Covid-19 patients.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-Central Visayas chief pathologist, reiterated the need to have modified TTMFs to take care of mild and moderate cases.

“We really have to enhance the TTMF. We need to have a middle ground that will help them (hospitals). That’s what we have always been saying, that we have to help our hospitals, our frontliners there. But by enhancing the TTMFs allowing them to be able to handle some of these (cases), then we will actually solve what we are going through,” Dr. Loreche said.

The modified TTMFs would have their own doctors and nurses to manage the treatment of mild or moderate Covid-19 patients.

The setting up of modified TTMFs would help declog the emergency rooms in hospitals since those with mild and moderate symptoms could be treated and managed by the medical staff there.

IATF-Visayas chief implementor retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano said Cebu City will have one TTMF, which is located beside Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) complex at the South Road Properties.

Feliciano also suggested that city hotels, which are used as TTMFs, can also be used as a step-down facility for patients that can already be discharged from the hospitals but are awaiting transportation to their towns.

The TTMFs under the Cebu City EOC have their own doctors and nurses on duty who could monitor patients 24/7.

Meanwhile, the Allied Care Experts Medical Center Cebu, located on N. Bacalso Avenue, Barangay Basak Pardo, Cebu City, is set to make available 52 Covid-19 beds as soon as an additional nine nurses will be deployed on top of the five nurses already assigned to the hospital. (PR)

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