The bed capacity of the city’s isolation unit at the former Sto. Niño Hospital is gradually being increased to accommodate the increasing number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said that from the previous 45-bed capacity of the city’s isolation unit, the same already increased to 90 beds following the delivery of more beds and other required materials for the additional capacity of the unit.
However, he disclosed that works to further increase the bed capacity will still be undertaken by the city but on a per floor basis until the unit’s 180-bed capacity will be achieved probably by the end of the month or by the middle of September.
The city administrator reported he has received a copy of the proposed memorandum of agreement (MOA) of the city and the public works department for the establishment of the needed isolation facility or increase the bed capacity of its existing isolation unit to be funded from the P12 million earlier committed by Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, the country’s isolation czar, for the improvement and put up of isolation centers in the different parts of the archipelago.
However, he revealed there are just some minor concerns of the city on the contents of the agreement which are now being ironed out prior to the formal signing of the same to sustain the realization of the government’s initiative to improve isolation centers nationwide.
Aside from working on the increased bed capacity of the city’s isolation unit, dela Peña stated that works are also underway for the establishment of the city’s central triage and additional isolation beds at the Baguio Convention Center which is expected to be operational by the middle of next month although Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong requested for the fast tracking of the same by the end of the month.
According to him, the city wants to ensure the available isolation beds in the city’s isolation unit will be double than that of the COVID-19 patients who are confined in the facility to ensure the city’s readiness to accommodate more patients in the future.
He said that the city formally request the Diocese of Baguio for the possible extension of the use of the Saint Vincent Gym until the middle of September for the continued operation of the city’s central triage until such time that the proposed central triage at the Baguio Convention Center will be completed and operational by the second half of September.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the city started to drastically increase over the past two weeks primarily because of the results of the expanded targeted testing aggressively pursued by personnel of the City Health Services Office (CHSO) and members of the contact tracing team.
Baguio City remains under moderate risk modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) based on the data analytics of the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases from August 1-15, 2020 where its classification for the second half of the month will be announced by the need of next week. By Dexter A. See