Baguio eyes more vehicles to transport COVID-19 patients

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Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city government is addressing the gap in the transport of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients as cases continue to multiply.

He said the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) headed by Officer-in-Charge Antonette Anaban and the City Health Services Office (CHSO) under Dr. Rowena Galpo are now working on ways to augment the city’s patient transport vehicles (PTV) which of late had been having a hard time coping with the volume of patients.

Anaban said four barangays had responded to the city’s call to provide PTVs to ferry asymptomatic patients namely namely Trancoville, Pacdal, Gibraltar and Phil-am.

Their PTVs will serve not only their own barangays but the whole districts they belong to or if possible other barangays in other districts that do not have their own PTVs.

The vehicles had been inspected by CHSO Medical Officer and Baguio City Emergency Medical Service head Dr. Dandeo Halog and Sanitation Division Chief Engr. Charles Carame who also conducted orientation on proper handling of the patients to the drivers and transport personnel.

They urged other barangays to also designate their own PTVs to hasten the transport of patients and prevent the risk of more infections.

Anaban said they are also studying other possible options in coordination with the Traffic and Transport technical working group like tapping public utility jeepneys and school services.  The city also plans to hire additional drivers for city services that will also be designated as PTVs.

The city also got the commitment of the business process outsourcing (BPO) companies to set up their own PTVs for their own employees.

Since the pandemic, the task of ferrying positive patients from their homes to facilities and hospitals had been undertaken by the Baguio City Emergency Medical Service (BCEMS) under the CHSO.

The CDRRMO on the other hand takes charge of the inter-facility transport needs of the patients and likewise of bringing home discharged patients. This is on top of their function to cater to emergency transport needs of non-COVID-19 patients.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo/PIO Baguio

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