A TOTAL of 42 out of the more than 300 patients currently undergoing free dialysis at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (GABMMC) have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, the youngest being 16 years old.
Because of this development as reported by GABMMC director Dr. Ted Martin, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced that the Tondo Sports Complex turned quarantine facility will now be designated for the exclusive use of said patients. Personnel from the GABMMC and the Manila Health Department under Dr. Arnold Pangan will be jointly manning the facility.
In devoting a whole quarantine facility for them, Moreno noted that the said patients face far more challenging requirements since as it is, they suffer from kidney problems which require dialysis and unfortunately got infected with the coronavirus whose cure is yet to be found.
The mayor thus called on the personnel who will be handling the dialysis cum COVID confirmed patients to take extra care against getting infected themselves.
The Flora V. Valisno De Siojo Dialysis Center, whose services are under the supervision of Dr. Martin, has so far provided a total of 9,936 free hemodialysis treatments since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) began and Moreno assured that the center will continue to extend its free healthcare services to all Manilans who are in dire need of accessible healthcare, most specially the patients stricken with end-stage renal disease.
According to Martin, it was on April 4, 2020, when the hospital admitted its first COVID confirmed patient, a pregnant patient undergoing hemodialysis and who subsequently expired three days after her admission.
“From then on, we were catering to many COVID suspects who eventually became COVID confirmed patients including a 70-year-old male dialysis patient who was admitted for almost 41 days, the longest to date and who successfully recovered and was discharged last June 1, 2020,” Martin said.
According to Martin, both Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, under whose supervision the city hospitals fall, have given directives for each of the city-run hospitals to ensure the provision of a floor (ward) dedicated to COVID-confirmed patients.
At the GABMMC, Martin said regular patients are scheduled for treatment every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday while COVID-suspects are treated every Wednesday and Saturday. Treatment schedules were adjusted to be in line with the mayor’s CODE COVID (Contain and Delay) program, to conform to the new normal and to follow the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Department of Health regarding social or physical distancing.
The dialysis patients are also brought to and from their homes every session through service vehicles as per order of the mayor.