Philippine Journal of Surgical Specialties Vol. 75, No. 1, January-June 2020, pp 4

Surgeries in “COVID-19-Free” Hospitals

Author(s): Philippine College of Surgeons

As the contagion continues to spread in the general population, there are hospitals without a documented case of COVID -19, and thus presumed “COVID-free” at the moment. May we encourage these hospitals to institute measures that would possibly maintain that status – most especially the operating room complex and the surgical staff.


  1. Practice strict social distancing among all personnel in and out of the hospital including the operating room.
  2. Limit the surgical procedures to emergent and urgent cases as previously recommended by the College (March 14, 2020 PCS Bulletin).
  3. Implement policies for rotation of surgical teams to minimize possible exposure.
  4. Suggest wearing of PPEs during the surgical procedure.
  5. Promote appropriate self-quarantine for all surgical personnel with known exposure.
  6. Observe intensified and strict disinfection practices in all surgical theatres after every use.
  7. Institute measures to prevent inadvertent contamination from surgical team by avoiding crossing institutions from COVID-designated centers to COVID-19-free centers.
  8. Test for COVID-19, if feasible, patients for surgery without causing a delay in the operation.

In maintaining such status in “COVID-19-free” institutions, we can assure safe surgical procedures to patients needing emergency/urgent operations in this time of crisis.

Key words: Surgeries in “COVID-19-Free” Hospitals