TABUK CITY, Kalinga– Around P40 million worth of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) facilities will be constructed by the city government within the first quarter of this year to improve the city’s isolation and testing capacities following the recent surge in the number of cases because of the increased mobility of people inside and outside the city.
Mayor Darwin C. Estrañero reported that the facilities to be constructed include a P25-million zone-type isolation facility and a P15-million molecular laboratory to be funded by the city government from its resources to help significantly improve the city’s isolation and testing capacities because of the continuing threats of the new COVID variant and the increasing number of cases from the different barangays.
He said that the bidding process for the delayed projects are underway for awarding to complying and responsive contractors by next month to ensure their completion before the end of the first quarter so that the city can maximize the operations of the facilities to cater to the increasing number of COVID cases.
The city chief executive disclosed that the put up of the aforesaid facilities will be completed soonest as most of the materials are pre-fabricated container vans which has been procured because of the urgency of the operation of such facilities to help in the overall anti-COVID response efforts.
Mayor Estrañero pointed out one of the major objectives in the put up of the city-owned molecular laboratory is to speed up the release of the swab test results of probable and suspected COVID cases not only in the city but also in the whole province because of the delays being encountered in the releasing of the test results from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), the designated sub-national testing center in Northern Luzon.
On the other hand, he explained that the planned 100-bed capacity zone-type isolation will increase the existing isolation beds to meet future surges in the number of COVID cases and to prevent the local health care system from being compromised.
According to him, part of the put up of the isolation center is a park within the different zones to provide a refreshing view for patients to lessen their anxiety while completing their prescribed isolation period.
The molecular laboratory and isolation center will be constructed within a city-owned property in barangay Agbannawag as a one-stop shop for probable and suspected COVID cases.
The mayor explained that the facilities were supposed to be constructed last year but because in the delay in the release of appropriate documents from concerned offices moved back the implementation.
The Tabuk City molecular laboratory will be the second public testing center in the Cordillera outside of the designated sub-national testing center at the Baguio-based BGHMC. The facility will be operated by the city government in close coordination with the health department. By HENT