BMC appeals to LGUs: Manage Covid cases with mild symptoms

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay


An official of the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) expressed alarm over the current surge of Covid- 19 cases, which jumped from double to triple -digit this month, as she confirmed that the hospital’s bed capacity has reached maximum utilization.


BMC Public Health Unit head Dr. Nathalie Lazaro, during the virtual emergency meeting with mayors and officials of various government agencies held Sept. 14, said that aside from the high hospital beds utilization rate, BMC’s human resource is now fully stretched.


“We are having a problem because there is a surge of Covid cases. BMC is now in full capacity. Our ventilators and high-flow machine are also in full use. On top of that, some of our medical frontliners, particularly the nurses, medical doctors and nursing aides are now fully stretched as cases continue to swell. We are raising an appeal to the local chief executives to help us manage Covid patients by referring only moderate and critical Covid cases to BMC,” Lazaro said.

“BMC is a tertiary hospital which means that aside from managing Covid cases, we still have other patients to attend to since we have specialization centers like the cancer center, trauma, cardiac centers and other departments that treat patients other than those afflicted with Covid-19. This is the reason why we cannot exclusively declare BMC as a full Covid facility only,” Lazaro added.


She suggested to local government units (LGUs) to have personnel on duty on a 24/7 basis who will respond to Covid-19 patients and assess them before referring them for treatment at BMC.


In a press statement, BMC also denied reports regarding the oxygen supply shortage in the hospital, which caused an undue alarm to the public.


While admitting that BMC is experiencing influx of Covid-19 cases varying from moderate, severe to critical, the BMC explained that they have already secured sufficient supply of oxygen.


The BMC assured the public that the it is doing its best to provide the needed oxygen tanks for both its non-Covid and Covid patients.


“While BMC has enough mechanical ventilators, our Covid-19 patients need the High Flow Oxygen machine (HFOM). As of this time, our 27 mechanical ventilators with high flow settings and nine HFOM are all in use. However, our hospital is currently looking to outsource more than 20 HFOM to address the recent surge.”


Camarines Sur and Naga City are both “topnotchers” when it comes to Covid-19 cases.


As of Sept.19, Camarines Sur has a total of 9,167 confirmed Covid-19 cases; 1,830 are active, 6,998 recovered and 339 deaths.


As of Sept. 16, Naga City has a total of 4,2018 confirmed Covid-19 cases; 640 are active cases, 3,422 recoveries and 146 deaths. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)