The patients have mild cases and are currently asymptomatic. They have been advised to wear face masks and follow standard health protocols, like handwashing.
Fabella is one of the most well-known public hospitals in the country. It is a specialty hospital where expecting mothers go to deliver their children safely. Fabella hardly challenges a fee, if at all, to mothers who go to them.
Due to the lack of space and facilities to accommodate all pregnant women who go to the hospital, sharing a space or a bed with another expectant mother and a child is commonplace at Fabella.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Fabella's Medical Chief Dr. Esmeraldo Ilem stated that beds allocated for COVID-19 patients in their isolation ward may be used by regular patients when not in use. He adds that they have had to move their COVID-19 patients in the same building as non-COVID patients because their isolation ward, which used to be in a separate building, is currently being renovated.
“'Yung aming mga passageway... 'yung regular patient at COVID patient isa lang 'yung daraanan, kaya mas malimit naming dinidisinfect 'yung mga passageway,” he says.
While all hospitals in the country practice health and safety measures, such as physical distancing, wearing of facemasks and face shields for everyone, and constant disinfecting of the hospital, it cannot be avoided that sometimes, the virus will still be present. Some mothers would go so far as to lie about their conditions in order to get a spot in Fabella.
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In the same interview, Dr. Ilem stated that 4% of the Fabella personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 after undergoing mass testing, although most of them were exposed from their community and then brought to the hospital.
Pregnant women are now included in the A3 priority group for COVID-19 vaccination. Read here for vaccine recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.