DOH: Eastern Visayas, Bicol and BARMM are add’l regions with high-risk health care utilization

Almost all regions with rising COVID cases


(Eagle News) – The Department of Health (DOH) said that almost all regions in the country have rising COVID-19 cases, and most have moderate risk health care utilization of between 50 percent to 70 percent.

But there were additional regions which recorded high-risk health care utilization rate of over 70 percent which the DOH is closely observing.

These are Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) with 72 percent; Region 5 (Bicol Region) with 71 percent ICU utilization; and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with 72 percent ICU utilization.

Thse were aside from the areas with high-risk health care utilization which have been recently placed under Alert Level 4, namely Kalinga, Ifugao and Mountain Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region, as well as the province of Northern Samar.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire identified these regions in a Laging Handa press briefing. Other regions are at moderate risk. But almost all regions have increasing cases, she said.

Halos lahat na po ng regions natin ngayon, ay may pagtaas ng mga kaso. And when we try to look at our numbers now, healthcare utilization, makikita ho naman natin na moderate risk most of our regions,” Vergeire said on Saturday, January 22.

Mayroon lang ho tayong mga regions ngayon na binabantayan dahil mayroon ho silang high-risk utilization for their bed utilization, ward beds. Ito ang Region VIII po, 72%; and then we also have Region V wherein 71% na po ang ICU utilization nila; and also, we have BARMM, mayroon ho silang 72% na ICU utilization.

Having a high-risk health care utilization rate is the main basis for placing a province or city under COVID-19 alert level 4.

-Regions with the most number of cases, high positivity rate-

Vergeire also identified the regions with the highest number of cases. These are the National Capital Region (NCR), Region 4-A or CALABARZON, and Region 3 or Central Luzon. These are also the regions with the highest positivity rate, according to the DOH official.

She also identified the other regions with increasing positivity rate. These are CAR, Region 2 (Ilocos region) and Region 8 (Eastern Visayas)

The DOH official also defended the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place certain areas under Alert Level 4, including Northern Samar.

“Iyon pong naging desisyon ng IATF sa pag-escalate to Alert Level 4, ang Northern Samar po nakapag-dedicate na po sila ng 80% of their bed for COVID-19. Ang ibig sabihin po noon, 20% na lang po ang kanilang natitira na capacity kung saka-sakaling tataas pa ang mga kaso,” Vergeire said.

She said that the areas placed under Alert Level 4 had already reached the metrics for high-risk health care utilization.

Sa ngayon po nasa high risk na po ang kanilang healthcare utilization. So para po maibsan at saka ma-control muna ang pagdami ng kaso at ma-manage natin ang kanilang healthcare systems capacity kaya po napagdesisyunan na i-escalate sila because they’ve reached the metrics already,” she said.

The IATF has also placed the following areas under Alert Level 3:

· Luzon: Apayao, Puerto Princesa City and Masbate
· Visayas: Siquijor
· Mindanao: Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay in Region 9; Lanao del Norte in Region 10; Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental in Region 11; North Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat in Region 12; Surigao del Norte in Caraga; and Maguindanao and Basilan in BARMM

These Alert Levels shall take effect beginning January 21, 2022 until January 31, 2022.

(Eagle News Service)