MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Monday stressed the need for hospitals and health centers to have standard coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at-home care kits for patients who cannot be accommodated due to the lack of available facilities.
ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Rowena Taduran said the Covid-19 kit should include the standard medicines that are given to mild to moderate Covid patients who cannot be immediately admitted to the hospital or quarantine facility due to lack of availability.
“I have received reports of people waiting for their turn to be seen or admitted in hospitals. May mga pang-number 200 sa pila, may naghihintay na lang sa kanilang sasakyan (There are about 200 people waiting in queue, while others are waiting in their cars). Why not give them a kit containing the standard medicines for Covid-19 that they can immediately use for treatment? Don’t just send them home or turn them away,” Taduran said.
Taduran also called on barangay (village) leaders to facilitate the transfer of patients to available hospitals.
She said all villages should have stand-by oxygen tanks and refills, as well as ambulances or any vehicles which could help transport ill patients in their communities.
“The Barangay Health Emergency Response Team should coordinate with the One Hospital Command Center for the transfer of patients who cannot be accommodated in NCR (National Capital Region) hospitals,” she said.
She expressed concern over the worsening Covid-19 situation in NCR, with a great number of families being hit by the virus.
“Paano pa ang mga walang-wala sa buhay? Walang mapuntahan at walang makapitan. Kaya dapat lang na magtulungan na tayo at magkaroon ng maayos na sistema sa pagbibigay ng tulong (What about those people who really have nothing in life? No one to ask for help or hold on to. That’s why we should help one another and have an effective system to give help),” she said.
Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government has expanded the healthcare system capacity with additional 164 intensive care unit beds, 2,000 isolation beds and 700 ward beds during the implementation of the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces.
During the ECQ implementation from March 29 to April 11, she said the local government units were instructed to strengthen incident command centers where triaging is being done to break the chain that people go directly to the hospitals and to further decongest the hospitals.
Vergeire noted that the country’s contact tracing capacity has also improved during ECQ implementation.
She said the decline in the number of Covid-19 cases is expected to be seen only after 10 to 14 days from the time the ECQ ended on April 11.
On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to place NCR Plus (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) and three other areas under modified ECQ from April 12 to 30. (PNA)