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The city put up of some 58 isolation beds in the Superintendent’s quarters at the Baguio Teachers’ Camp following the surge in the number of Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) cases over the past week that placed the city’s isolation units in critical state.
City Health Office Dr. Rowena Galpo said the city’s critical care beds or those beds based in hospitals are now on the warning stage while the city’s isolation beds is now elevated to critical state because of the sudden increase in the number of cases.
She reported that for the city’s isolation unit at the former Sto. Niño Hospital, 77 out of the 98 beds had already been occupied, while in the case of the Roxas Hall at the Baguio Teachers’ Camp, 96 out of the 112 isolation beds had also been filled up.
Aside from those confined in the hospitals, especially the symptomatic patients, and those in the isolation units for mostly mild and asymptomatic patients, the city health officer claimed there are also asymptomatic patients who are undergoing home isolation after their houses qualified for home quarantine and this has contributed in helping reduce the number of confinements in the isolation units.
She added that the 58 additional isolation beds at the Baguio Teachers’ Camp increased the capacity of the accredited isolation unit to accommodate more confirmed patients while the repair and improvement of the former Sto. Niño Hospital funded by the P12 million grant from the public works department is currently being rushed to cope with future cases.
According to her, isolation beds are also being made available with the increasing number of recoverees being discharged not only from the hospitals but also from the different isolation units, thus there are still available beds for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients who may be discovered by the city’s contact tracing team and from the results of the expanded and targeted testing of the members of high-risk sectors in the city.
Earlier, the city planned to have some 436 available isolation beds by the end of the month, with 290 beds based at the Sto. Niño Hospital, 140 isolation beds at the Baguio Teachers’ Camp and 16 isolation beds will be based near the city’s centralized triage center at the Baguio Convention Center which will cater to the isolation requirements of individuals tested positive right at the triage center.
On his part, City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña admitted that the city government cannot afford to rent out rooms in hotels because the least price he canvassed was P15,000 per room per month thus efforts are now being done to fastrack the completion of the ongoing repairs and improvements of the isolation units to significantly increase their bed capacities the soonest.
Further, efforts are also being done to facilitate the immediate discharge of patients who have recovered based on the prevailing guidelines of the health department to pave the way for the availability of more isolation beds for the increasing number of patients daily.
By Dexter A. See