Makeshift isolation facilities outside Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital. (Contributed) 

Negros Oriental’s Covid-19 bed capacity is now in critical level as the province experienced another spike of infections, prompting the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place it under Alert Level 4. 

Though the entire Central Visayas has significantly improved its management of Covid-19 infections, only Negros Oriental, out of the four provinces in the region, is on the highest quarantine classification starting Wednesday, Oct. 20. 

The Negros Oriental Medical Society (NOMS) disclosed that compared to previous months, hospital waitlists have declined but are still substantial as more cases needing hospitalization are reported daily.

Dr. Joven Occeña, NOMS president, reported early this month that some 202 Covid patients were waitlisted in the five hospitals in Dumaguete City and Sibulan. Even the P46-million Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) isolation facility that can accommodate 34 patients has reached full capacity. 

Vice Gov. Mark Macias posted on social media pictures of the parking lot of NOPH with tents serving as additional spaces for Covid patients. Macias said many doctors and nurses were also infected by the deadly pathogen, paralyzing the needed medical workforce.     

The Integrated Provincial Health Office reported Wednesday, Oct. 21, that seven of the nine hospitals in Negros Oriental are at critical level, some already way beyond their capacity.

 As of writing, active Covid cases in Negros Oriental have reached 2,212.  

On the other hand, Cebu province which includes its highly urbanized component cities Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue, has improved its quarantine classification to Alert Level 2. 

Bohol province is also under the same level, while Siquijor is under Alert Level 3 after experiencing a spike of cases in the past weeks. – Ryan Sorote