BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental logged 166 COVID-19 related deaths within three weeks of September, as the number of active cases continue to soar, Provincial Inter Agency Task Force action officer Rayfrando Diaz revealed yesterday.
This is the worst death rate, Diaz said, compared to previous months, noting that majority of those who died have serious medical conditions, making them vulnerable upon arrival in medical facilities.
But we do our best given what we have to manage, help them, on how to get over their critical period, until they stabilize. Unfortunately, they did not make it, he stressed.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang reported that they recorded 3,514 COVID-19 active cases for the month in the province.
Diaz said that there is now a great demand for hospital beds, as both Cadiz and Valladolid District Hospitals have reached their full capacity.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental designated the 51-bed Valeriano Gatuslao Memorial District Hospital in Himamaylan City, as a COVID-19 hospital, on top of the Cadiz and Valladolid District Hospitals.
Diaz said that they are targeting to operationalize the annex building of Cadiz District Hospital by the second week of October, which could accommodate 70 beds, to cater more COVID-19 patients.
The COVID-19 medical facility in Himamaylan City, which has now nine virus-infected patients, will serve southern Negros local government units, he added.
Diaz also said that three quarantine facilities in EB Magalona, Silay and Cadiz, which earlier being planned as field hospitals, will now be used for COVID-19 patients, who are recovering for infection, to accommodate more patients in critical conditions at the hospitals.
He also noted an increase in number of quarantine occupants in EB Magalona, Silay and Cadiz isolation facilities.
Diaz also said that they increased their testing rate, which aims to overtake the infection rate.
With faster testing and isolation of infected individuals, we may able to stop the further spread of the virus.
The provincial government also set up a 20 by 18 foot area with flooring at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City to serve as a temporary care center for patients waiting to be swabbed before admission to the hospital.*