The city continues to increase the capacity of its existing community isolation unit at the former Sto. Niño Hospital to cope with the surge in the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and prevent the local health care system from being overwhelmed.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong requested City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña to continue working on increasing the isolation unit’s capacity from 90 to 300.
At present, dela Peña disclosed that the city’s isolation unit can accommodate a maximum of 90 patients although efforts are being done to continue doubling its capacity to 180 and eventually 300 beds with the use of the other available floors for the said purpose.
Aside from the city’s isolation unit, City Health Officer Dr. Rowena P. Galpo claimed that the city is awaiting the issuance of the license of the Baguio Teachers Camp as an additional isolation facility with a capacity for some 129 patients.
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She claimed that the City Health Services Office (CHSO) completed the lacking documentary requirements being required from the city by the Cordillera office of the health department to facilitate the release of the license of the Baguio Teachers Camp as an accredited isolation facility.
The city administrator, on the other hand, revealed that the city will maximize the use of the 8 million from the public works department to improve its existing city isolation unit aside from putting up additional isolation beds at the Baguio Convention Center (BCC) which will be converted into the city’s central triage center by the middle of September.
According to him, the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) headed by Arch. Johnny Degay is continuously working on the fabrication of beds and dividers for the city’s isolation facility to further increase its capacity even as the city’s COVID-19 cases continue to increase daily so that there will be available beds for those patients required to undergo the 14-day quarantine in the said facility.
He assured that the expansion of the bed capacity of the city’s isolation unit and the completion of the isolation beds for the BCC will be completed either by the end of the month or by the middle of September, but efforts are being done to make sure that there will be more than enough beds that are available in the facility compared to the number of patients being required to be admitted to avoid the possibility of the local health care system being overwhelmed by the sudden surge in the number of COVID-19 patients.
Magalong added that another 25-bed building in Tuba, Benguet will serve as a standby isolation facility which the city government could immediately use for quarantine and isolation purposes when the other facilities become full.
Earlier, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar committed to provide the city with a P12 fund assistance for the put up and improvement of the city’s isolation facility to ensure that COVID-19 patients can complete the required quarantine period in the said facilities to prevent them from transmitting the deadly virus.
By Dexter A. See
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