GIVEN the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) trend, the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, January 13, 2023, said they are projecting that hospital admissions, including the intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy, will be plateauing soon.

In a virtual press briefing, DOH-Epidemiology Bureau Director Dr Alethea de Guzman said they are not expecting a surge in healthcare utilization rates (HCUR) and ICU occupancy to rise in the coming weeks.

“With no new variant of concern this December 2022, hospital and ICU occupancy are expected to plateau at around 2,000 and 250 admissions, respectively,” said de Guzman.

As of January 8, the HCUR in the country was at 4,185, which is 21.6 percent of the 19,373 beds.

On the other hand, the ICU utilization stood at 431, which is 18.1 percent of the 2,379 ICU beds.

However, de Guzman said that should a more transmissible variant emerge, hospital occupancy may increase in late March.

“Cases may peak in late March with 3,556 total admissions and 462 ICU admissions,” she said.

And if a more immune evasive variant enters the country, she said a peak may occur in late April.

“It is expected to peak in late April 2023 with 4,742 total admissions and 612 ICU admissions,” said de Guzman. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)