WHO says no need to admit patients without symptoms

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THE World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday urged Philippine hospitals not to admit patients showing mild or no symptoms of the coronavirus to avoid congestion.

These patients should instead be sent to isolation centers “so they can be managed without crowding the hospitals,” WHO Country Representative Rabindra R. Abeyasinghe told the Foreign Correspondent Association of the Philippines at an online news briefing.

“If we do that, we free up hospital space for the ones who have signs of severe disease or who have other comorbidities who will actually benefit from the care of the hospital,” he added.

Mr. Abeyansinghe said the government was boosting contact-tracing efforts, identifying community hotspots and expanding the capacity of coronavirus-designated hospitals.

He also cited the need to release test results within 24 hours and inform the public and health authorities immediately so contact-tracing can be started.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire earlier urged hospitals to attend to people with mild or no symptoms and refer them to temporary treatment facilities, unless these patients have pre-existing medical conditions.

St. Luke’s Medical Center on Monday said its hospitals in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City had reached the full capacity of allocated COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) intensive care unit beds.

People should consider bringing critically ill COVID-19 suspects to alternative hospitals so they will receive immediate and utmost care, it said on its Facebook page.

Both hospitals would still admit non-coronavirus patients for treatment, including out-patient procedures, it added.

The Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center also said its ward for coronavirus patients had been running at full capacity. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas