'Full capacity everywhere': Manila hospitals struggle as virus surges

'Full capacity everywhere': Manila hospitals struggle as virus surges

MANILA, Philippines — Angelo Barrera’s father struggled to breathe from COVID-19 as he was driven around the Philippine capital in search of a hospital bed. After five hours he got on a waitlist but died before he could get inside. More contagious variants of the coronavirus have been blamed for a record surge in infections in Metro Manila that has overstretched hospitals and sent the national capital region into lockdown. Long queues at emergency rooms have forced people to drive from one health facility to the next in search of treatment, in a situation described by a hospital official as a “nightmare”. “They went to eight hospitals physically — it was full capacity everywhere,” said Barrera, who called an additional 20 medical centers during his father’s ordeal last month. The 61-year-old pastor, who had no pre-existing conditions, suddenly collapsed after suffering mild symptoms of the disease for about 10 days. “Admission was full, ER was full and even the waitlist for the ER was full. Some hospitals had told us they had 40 patients waiting to get into the ER,” …
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