By Mar Serrano and Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY – The Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City announced on Saturday that its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and isolation wards for patients infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are now “under full capacity.”

In a statement, BMC spokesperson Mylce Mella said, for this reason, they were advising the public that effective Saturday and until it is lifted, the hospital would limit its admission to Covid-19 patients with only severe and critical conditions.

The BMC has allocated 140 beds for Covid-19 patients, 25 of which are in the ICU and the rest in isolation wards.

The hospital said these wards are understaffed to handle the continuous influx of Covid-19 patients.

“Also its high-flow oxygen machines and mechanical ventilators are now all deployed and being used. Hence, no more available unit that can be utilized for new admissions,” the statement read.

The BMC thus urged local government units to step up their quarantine facilities to accommodate patients showing mild to moderate symptoms, as well as those who are asymptomatic.

The Bicol region has two other Covid-19 referral hospitals – the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City and the Bicol Region General Hospital Geriatric Medical Center (BRGHGMC) in Cabusao, Camarines Sur.

As of June 3, reports said in the BRTTH, 49 or 64 percent of 76 beds in isolation wards for Covid-19 patients were available, while 16 or 89 percent of the 18 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients were occupied.

The BRGHGMC has allocated 63 beds for Covid-19 patients, 12 or 19 percent of which are occupied, while all or 100 percent of the ICU beds for such patients are being used.

Based on the regional health office’s Covid-19 tracker, Bicol has recorded 12,748 infections from March last year until June 3, with active cases standing at 3,966 (31.11 percent), recoveries at 8,363 (65.6 percent), and deaths at 419 (3.29 percent). (PNA)