MANILA: The Philippines reported on Friday (Aug 13) its second-largest daily increase in COVID-19 infections, providing more evidence of how the virulent Delta variant may be spreading and ramping up pressure on the country’s already stretched healthcare system.
Hundreds of hospitals in the country are nearing full capacity, with some facilities reporting they have run out of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients, leaving health care workers, who are forced to work longer hours, exhausted.
“Usually the nurse to patient ratio in wards is one to five, but we are handling up to 12 patients,” said Maria Caridad delos Reyes, a staff nurse at the Philippine General Hospital, whose eight-hour shift now sometimes extend to 16 hours.
“We’re supposed to have a break time, but because we are extremely busy, we miss our meals, especially now that we are attending to moderate to severe COVID-19 patients,” Delos Reyes told Reuters.
The health ministry recorded 13,177 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the highest since a record daily tally of 15,310 on April 2, bringing total cases to 1.71 million, the second highest in Southeast Asia next to Indonesia.