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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, August 25, 2020
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Hospitals overwhelmed,
crematoriums full – VM
Kin of dead frontliner hope for gov’t action
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

 

The health care system in Bacolod City is about to collapse, hospitals are overwhelmed with the rising number of COVID-19 patients, Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said yesterday.

Even the crematoriums are full, he said. That is why city ordinances are set to be passed to enforce more stringent measures in Bacolod City to curb the spread of the virus, he said.

Among the measures is the re-issuance of Home Quarantine Passes and the setting up of border controls to restrict movement in the city. Mass testing for COVID-19 is also set.

Hospitals in the city are also faced with lack of staff with numerous personnel, especially nurses, having resigned, Dr. Dolores Rommela Tiples-Ruiz, who specializes in infectious diseases, said.

The Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital and the Adventist Medical Center-Bacolod have announced that they have admitted COVID-19 and probable cases to their full capacity, and advised patients to seek help at other facilities.

Familiaran said the current health care situation led to the death of Jesryl Bancaya, 33, a technical staff of Bacolod Councilor Israel Salanga who was in-charge of orienting returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Sunday.

There was no available hospital that would take him in, Familiaran said.

Jesryl’s brother, Conrado, said he was not a confirmed COVID-19 patient as the test result of the swab specimen taken from him after his death has not come out yet.

They are hoping his brother was not positive for the virus but nevertheless have gone on voluntary home quarantine, Conrado said.

Jesryl’s cause of death was listed as respiratory failure, community acquired pneumonia and suspected COVID, he said.

Conrado said he hopes the local government addresses the problem of inadequate health facilities in the city so what happened to his brother does not happen to someone else.

His brother committed his life to helping others and as a frontliner would often times arrive home in the wee hours of the morning and would be up again to go to work at 8 a.m., Conrado said.

He said his brother caught a fever after getting wet when it rained at a funeral he and several other friends attended. His brother self-isolated himself in their house but did not think he had COVID since his companions who also got wet at the funeral and developed fever recovered, Conrado said.

However, at past noon on Sunday, his brother had difficulty breathing and was brought to the CLMMRH but they were told he could not be attended to because the hospital was already full.

His brother lay in an ambulance outside the CLMMRH for two hours because somebody told them that if they could contact Dr. Julius Drilon, the hospital chief, he perhaps could approve the hospital’s taking him even if it was full, Conrado said.

They sought Salanga’s help but he could not reach Drilon and tried to make arrangements for Jesryl to be brought to the Cadiz District Hospital but was told that they may have available space at 5 p.m. of Sunday yet.

Conrado said his brother could have at least been provided emergency first aid treatment or oxygen at CLMMRH

Jesryl said he was tired and wanted to rest but before they brought him home, they tried to find oxygen for him but failed because it was a Sunday, the brother added.

When Jesryl finally reached home and after the ambulance left, he had a seizure and turned bluish, Conrado said. Their father pumped his chest to help him breath, he added.

Jesryl had a seizure at 4 p.m. and the ambulance that returned at 5 p.m. brought him to the Adventist Medical Center-Bacolod where they waited for about 30 minutes in the ambulance before his brother could be brought in the hospital.

Soon after, a doctor told them that Jesryl was unresponsive with no signs of life and asked if they wanted them to continue trying to revive him, Conrado said.

Conrado said they asked that they continue to try to revive his brother but he died.

Jesryl was not brought to other private hospitals in Bacolod because they were told only the CLMMRH and Cadiz District Hospital would accept such cases, he said.

The frontliner was cremated yesterday.

Conrado said his brother was a dedicated government employee who risked his life as a COVID-19 frontliner, it is painful that when he needed help, he did not get it.

Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon said it is very sad and unfortunate that the situation has had to become like this.*

 

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