PGH registers full capacity in COVID-19 ICU units for children

MANILA, Philippines – The UP Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has logged a full capacity in its COVID-19 intensive care units for children. According to PGH spokesman Dr. Jonas del Rosario, more children, who are yet to be vaccinated, are getting infected with the coronavirus disease due to the threat of Delta variant cases.

"Right now, ang Delta mas contagious raw kaya we are seeing more pediatric patients getting COVID-19," del Rosario said in an interview with Saksi.

PGH registers full capacity in COVID-19 ICU units
PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook/ Philippine General Hospital

“Children who are admitted to the Philippine General Hospital due to COVID-19 are now getting sicker. When we mean sicker, most have severe pneumonia and need to be intubated. Doon sa waiting to be admitted (from other hospitals), there are about five na nakalista. Sa iba naman na nasa bahay pa, close to 10 na severely ill na dapat ma-admit sa ICU setup ng PGH,” Del Rosario added.

To curb the spread of COVID-19 cases brought about by the Delta variant, the government has placed the National Capital Region (NCR) under Enhanced Community Quarantine, the strictest of all lockdown measures, from August 6 to August 20.

Currently, all vaccines available globally are for individuals aged 18 and up, except for Pfizer which can be administered for 16 years old and above.

Last May, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that the government aims to eventually include children and teenagers in its COVID-19 vaccination program.

“Darating po ang araw na talagang bibili pa tayo ng additional vaccine para sa ating lower bracket from 17-1 years old which comprises 29 million,” Galvez said.

Rise of COVID-19 cases among children

While data about COVID-19 cases among children in the Philippines is yet to be released, Indonesia, which is the current epicenter of the pandemic, has seen the rise of COVID-19 cases among children.

In a report of The New York Times, more than 800 children under the age of 18 have died due to COVID-19 in Indonesia since the pandemic started,with the majority of deaths occurring last July.

As of July 31, Indonesia logs more than 100 deaths among children in a week, many of them under 5, recording a mortality rate higher than any country in the world. The rise in child deaths happened at the same time as the surge of Delta variant in Indonesia.

“Until now, children have been the hidden victims of this pandemic,” said Dr. Yasir Arafat, health adviser of the nonprofit group Save the Children.

— Mini, The Summit Express

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