(File photo)

MANILA – An additional 240 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in select hospitals in Metro Manila will be available this month as an uptick of Covid-19 cases is observed nationwide, a health official said Monday.

In an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said health care facilities have been increasing as early as March.

“We were already able to add additional 314 isolation beds and 210 ICU beds in Visayas. We were also able to add 190 ICU beds and 306 isolation beds in Mindanao and in Luzon, we were able to add 755 ICU beds and 332 isolation beds,” she added.

Vergeire also said lockdowns are additional measures “to prepare the health care system and keep it from being overwhelmed”.

Metro Manila will be under the strictest status, enhanced community quarantine, on Aug. 6 to 20 to arrest the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

While there is still no community transmission yet, Vergeire said the government continues to expand the capacity of hospitals as it looks for more ways and places to care for patients with Covid-19.

“Aside from that, we are now prepositioning medications, oxygen supplies, procurement of other needed logistics, and we are preparing additional spaces and tents for our hospitals,” she said.

“And of course, ‘yung oxygen po na napaka-importante, atin pong mina-mapa at atin pong ini-increase ang ating (oxygen, which is very important, we’re mapping and increasing our) capacity to produce this oxygen supply,” she added.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, the Department of Health reported a total of 1,605,762 Covid-19 cases, with 1,515,054 recoveries and 28,093 deaths nationwide.

The total confirmed Delta variant cases in the country is 119. (PNA)