Hospitals well able to deal with increase in Covid-19 cases, ICU occupancy at 7%
The bed occupancy for severely ill Covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) is at about 7 per cent, allowing hospitals here to be well able to deal with the Covid-19 cases that have been detected over the last few weeks.
Speaking at a press congerence by the multi-ministerial taskforce on Covid-19, the director of medical services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, said public hospitals currently have more than 1,200 beds for adult and paediatric Covid-19 cases.
The current bed occupancy is under 28 per cent for adult patients, and public hospital ICU occupancy is less than 44 per cent for all critically ill patients in the ICU beds specifically dedicated to receive Covid-19 cases.
Prof Mak added that hospitals have also cautiously started to clear some of the elective caseload for patients with less urgent conditions, whose surgeries and treatment have been deferred over the last three months.
He said: "We've also allowed the hospitals to redesignate some of the beds previously reserved for Covid-19 patients for use by non-Covid-19 patients at present, so that they are better able to cater to the needs of these patients at this time."
But he also warned that the authorities have been careful not to allow "excessive drawing down" of isolation and ICU beds for Covid-19 as the situation may change very quickly, given the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
While hospital staff have been allowed to stand down from duties in the ICU and start taking leave to rest, hospitals are still able to augment its healthcare staff at a very short notice, Prof Mak said.
They are also able to expand the isolation and ICU bed capabilities to meet any potential increase in hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
Community treatment facilities (CTFs) are also prepared to accept more patients, and are reviewing ways to better look after Covid-19 cases, including the administration of antiviral and monoclonal antibody therapies for high-risk cases, he added.
Hospitals and CTFs will also be tweaking their criteria to allow more patients to recover in the CTFs to avoid burdening the hospitals in light of the anticipated Omicron surge.