SPMC ‘overwhelmed’ by COVID-19 surge in Davao City – Galvez

A surge of COVID-19 cases in Davao City has “overwhelmed” Southern Philippines Medical Center, according to National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday night.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s televised briefing, Galvez thanked National Task Force Against COVID-19 chair Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for sending 25 medical personnel (six doctors, six nurses, and 13 nursing staff) from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the city to augment its COVID-19 response efforts.

“Malaking tulong po ‘yon kasi binisita po namin ang dahil kasi overwhelmed po sila,” Galvez said.

Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega already established a One Hospital Command in Davao city for an efficient referral system, he added.

Galvez also said that the government also increased ’s bed capacity by 20% to treat more patients.

The government also gave high-flow nasal cannulas, Avigan, and other drugs for severe cases of COVID-19 in the city.

SPMC ‘overwhelmed’ by COVID-19 surge in Davao City – Galvez

Galvez, who is also the czar, said the Davao City’s COVID-19 situation is already stabilizing.

Meanwhile, according to the OCTA Research team, the number of  in the Philippines could hit 500,000 by the end of 2021.

The experts said the total number of cases could reach between 470,000 and 500,000 (with a mean of 485,000 cases) by December 31. The Department of Health reported 429,864 cases, including 8,373 deaths as of Sunday, November 29.

The virus’ reproduction number increased to 0.88. However, the researchers said the number is still below the critical level of 1 for November 22 to 28. A value higher than one shows the virus is spreading.

The OCTA Research said National Capital Region (NCR), Davao del Sur, Quezon, Occidental, Pampanga, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental, and Western Samar are areas under concern. Meanwhile, the cities of Makati, Lucena, Batangas, Davao, and Pagadian were considered high-risk areas.

“Based on the available data, it is becoming clear to us that the increases in new cases in many places around the country are largely community transmission exacerbated by the  rise in mobility due to the opening up of the economy coupled with the deteriorating compliance with the minimum health standard by citizens due to pandemic fatigue,” the OCTA Research’s latest monitoring report stated.