Hospitals in the Philippines are already preparing for the possible entry of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is possibly a more contagious form of the disease.
San Lazaro Hospital in Manila is already taking inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and medicine for patients.
“First [preparation] is the inventory of PPEs and anti-viral drugs like remdesivir and tocilizumab. We now have more time to prepare for it and have stocks of medications,” said Dr. Rontgene Solante.
“The number of cases in the past weeks has made us more prepared for the next surge,” said Solante.
According to Solante, an infectious disease expert, the booster shot that was recently given to health workers is also a big help to provide them with more protection against the variant.
“At least ‘pag mayroon uling surge, we are protected,” he said.
According to the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI), there has been little change in the preparation of private hospitals.
He said they are ready to receive patients if the variant arrives in the country, but the lack of health workers is the problem.
Hospitals preparing for Omicron variant
“Sa hospitals, ang limitation namin ngayon ay ang number of nurses. But right now, tumigil until the end of the year, baka next year na ulit magkakaroon ng mga resignations,” said PHAPI President Jose Rene de Grano.
“Part [noong paghahanda] is increased surveillance. paghahanap ng mga kaso, agarang pag-isolate at na itest muna gamit ang RT-PCR testing,” said Dr. Alethea de Guzman, director of DOH Epidemiology Bureau.