Cagayan de Oro in ‘Health Crisis’

By : Bobby Lagsa Mindanao Today/10:34:21am 07/16/2021


(Note: This news article was published in the print edition of Mindanao Today on June 11, 2021)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Mayor Oscar Moreno called the city’s continuing spike in Covid-19 infection as a medical crisis as other provinces in Northern Mindanao are also seeing a rise in cases.

Moreno said that as other hospitals across the region are getting burdened by Covid-19 cases, the region’s apex hospital – the Northern Mindanao Medical Center located here – is getting swamped by expected admission referred from across region 10.

“We are in a crisis already; we are already in a state of calamity and this virus has pushed us deeper into a crisis,” Moreno said.

On June 7, 2021, Bukidnon’s provincial IATF once again asked the IATF to raise its quarantine status from Modified General Community Quarantine to General Community Quarantine status as cases in the province went up 200 percent in just a matter of weeks.

Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri signed the resolution while Dr. Gary Guido Tabios Jr., provincial health officer, reported that as of May 27, 2021, the province has a two-week growth rate almost exceeding 200 percent, which means that the province can be categorized as “high risk.”

As of June 8, Bukidnon has 1,617 active cases, with its Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center now at full capacity catering only to Covid-19 cases.

“We also asked the IATF to put Valencia City, the towns of Manolo Fortich, Talakag, Kibawe to be put under GCQ status,” Zubiri said.

Zubiri also asked the private hospitals association in Bukidnon to allot 20 percent of their bed capacity for Covid-19 cases as the BPMC is now operating at full capacity for Covid-19.

Only two private hospitals in Bukidnon have committed to cater to Covid-19 cases.

Bethel Baptist Hospital in Malaybalay City and Adventist Hospital in Valencia City has confirmed its commitment, according to Bukidnon PIATF.

Zubiri said that they committed P411 million for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines for the province’s residents.

In Ozamiz City, Dr. Jesus Martin Sanciangco III, medical center chief of the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr., Medical Center said that their Covid ward is now at full capacity.

“Our Covid ward including its extension ward is at full capacity since June 1. We will keep everyone updated once there is a vacancy of the Covid-19 allocation bed,” Sanciangco said.

He added that MHARSMC would continue to accommodate non-Covid patients including outpatients.

Dr. Francis Christian Cortes, MHARSMC Covid taskforce coordinator said that there are 73 covid-19 patients in the hospital, including suspected cases.

“We are allocating 85 beds and currently, we have 73 patients, but we have to realize that the admission here at MHARS is more than 15 per day. So that doesn’t mean that we have 12 (extra beds) today, there won’t be addition, sad to say that the reason there is free bed is that someone died (of Covid),” Cortes said.

Ozamiz city has 65 active Covid-19 cases as of June 6 posting on its social media page.

Moreno said that once the other hospitals in Northern Mindanao will be at full capacity, they will have to send their Covid-19 cases to NMMC as it is the region’s Covid-19 referral hospital.

“All our hospitals are already full, please look at our figures. MHARS MC, in Ozamiz City already declared they are full, also in Bukidnon. Yes, we are in a crisis, but we can solve this if the people will cooperate. The answer is in the hands of the people,” Moreno said.

This city’s Covid-19 deaths in May reached 119 fatalities. The city’s total death as of June 8 is 364.

If there is any consolation to these numbers. Dr. Bernard Julius Rocha of NMMC said that since the start of the vaccination, there are fewer NMMC staffs that are being infected with Covid-19.

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