President Rodrigo Duterte will ask Congress to give tax breaks to oxygen manufacturers in the country, saying oxygen is an important part of the fight against coronavirus disease in 2019.
In large, bold letters, the sign describes the situation at the Adventist Medical Center in Pasay City, one of several hospitals in Metro Manila that is being forced to reject patients affected by the virus. A total of 47 Delta variant cases were recorded in nine cities in the National Capital Region. Danny Pata
In his weekly public address on Monday, Duterte said it was necessary at this time to ensure an adequate supply of medical oxygen. “If it really got out of hand, we’d need all the oxygen they can produce for people. We need it, ”the president said, recalling that during the first wave of COVID-19, oxygen supplies were scarce and manufacturers barely kept pace with excessive demand from hospitals across the country. The chairman of the board claimed that there should be simple licensing and tax incentives for local oxygen suppliers and manufacturers to meet the needs of the growing number of COVID-19 patients. “So, for those who produce it, license them if necessary. If everything is okay, give it up immediately, ”said the President. Duterte praised the country’s medical oxygen manufacturers, noting that despite the ongoing health emergency, they have maintained the production of the much-needed medical raw material. Meanwhile, the Director General of the Food and Drug Administration, Eric Domingo, assured the public that the government is making the necessary preparations to keep the Philippines from falling into the predicament of other countries violently opposed to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta Fight variant. Domingo said the FDA has licensed 30 medical oxygen manufacturers, adding that there are currently 81 licensed medical device manufacturers across the country. The FDA chief also said he doesn’t see any supply bottlenecks at the moment.
The government is now considering regulating oxygen tank sales amid the potential spike in COVID-19 cases due to the more transmissible Delta variant, the Ministry of Health said Tuesday. DOH spokeswoman and State Secretary for Health Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview with Unang Balita that this was discussed during a meeting on Monday. Vergeire said this would ensure that only those in need of oxygen bottles can buy them. Vergeire said the DOH and the Department of Commerce and Industry had already spoken to oxygen tank manufacturers to ramp up production in the event of a surge in demand. The World Health Organization had previously urged the Philippines to increase the supply of oxygen needed to treat COVID-19.
The Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed in the National Capital Region could be extended due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the DOH said. This is still being discussed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), said. “This possibility always exists, because according to our forecasts the number of COVID-19 cases will continue to rise even with two weeks of ECQ,” Vergeire said in an interview with Unang Balita. Metro Manila was placed under ECQ on Aug 6-20 in light of the delta coronavirus variant threat. The OCTA research group said Sunday that the rate of reproduction, or the rate at which an infected person can pass the virus on to others, rose to 1.80 in the NCR from 1.56 a week ago.
The Philippines reported 8,560 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,676,156 as all laboratories were up while 13 laboratories failed to submit their data on time, the Department of Health reported. Based on the last 14 days of data, the 13 non-reporting laboratories contributed an average of 2.8 percent of the samples tested and 2.8 percent of the positive individuals. The DOH also reported 92 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 29,220. The DOH also reported 7,964 people who have recently recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,567,920. The DOH also reported 79,016 active cases, of which 94.4 percent were mild, 1.7 percent asymptomatic, 1 percent critical, 1.7 percent severe, and 1.18 percent moderate.
The Philippine COVID-19 referral system said it received about three times as many calls for help compared to July as coronavirus infections continue to rise. The One Hospital Command Center now receives 350 to 370 calls a day from the last week of July through early August – up from 98 to 105 calls about 2 weeks ago, said referral system chief, Health Secretary Leopold Vega. The center recorded the highest number of calls in a day at 472 two days ago, said Vega, who is also the country’s COVID-19 treatment czar. Metro Manila’s 7-day average for COVID-19 was about 600 about 2 weeks ago. The number is now over 2,000, Vega said.
Performance of the nurses
Nurses’ performance is “impacted” as they are forced to treat about a dozen patients at the same time as COVID-19 cases rise again, the Filipino Nurses United said. FNU General Secretary Jocelyn Andamo said in an interview with Super Radyo dzBB: “The plight of the nurses is pathetic and sad.” The FNU said there were not enough health workers to increase the capacity of the hospital beds. Andamo also said many nurses have still not received their benefits under the Bayanihan 2 law, which expired on June 30 this year. The Ministry of Health previously said it would continue to hire more health workers amid the surge in COVID-19 cases. The DOH also said it will recalculate the number of health staff increases needed by hospitals to account for the highly contagious Delta variant.
Do not do it
The DOH has reminded hospitals not to admit asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients to avoid congestion and to make room for severe and critical cases. Vergeire said in an interview with Unang Balita that asymptomatic and mild cases should be placed in Level 1 health facilities or temporary treatment and monitoring facilities instead. During the surge in cases this March, the DOH stated that nearly 50 percent of hospital admissions at the time were asymptomatic or mild. Vergeire said the DOH had been coordinating with the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, which had previously reached full capacity due to a surge in COVID-19 and leptospirosis cases.
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