Some P13 million was earmarked by the public works department to further improve and increase the bed capacity of the city’s isolation units to ensure there will be sufficient available beds for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients needing required isolation.
City Administrator Bonifacio I. dela Peña said the funds from the DPWH-CAR will be used to more than double the current 228-bed capacity of the Roxas Hall, Hernandez Hall and Superintendent’s Quarters of the Baguio Teachers Camp as one of the strategic approaches to ensure the readiness of the city’s isolation units in case there will be a significant increase in the number of COVID patients required to undergo isolation.
He added the city government is targeting that with the available funds, the capacity of the Baguio Teachers Camp isolation unit will be increased to 560 beds that will significantly improve the available isolation beds for possible, suspected and probable COVID cases requiring isolation.
Earlier, the city government got some P12 million through the initiative of Public works Secretary Mark Villar, the country’s isolation czar, which is now being used to increase the 95-bed capacity of the city’s central isolation unit at the former Sto. Niño Hospital to around 300 to 400 by the middle of next month.
At present, the city-managed isolation unit has a capacity of some 233 beds while the rehabilitation and upgrading of some floors are still underway to meet the targeted bed capacity by the middle of December.
Aside from the aforesaid isolation units currently being improved to increase their respective bed capacity, the city administrator disclosed that some 12 container vans delivered to the city are now being converted into a 24-bed capacity isolation unit within the compound of the city’s central triage at the Baguio Convention Center to immediately isolate confirmed COVID cases screened at the facility for travelers who undergo the required triaging prior to entering the city proper.
He claimed the city has still additional isolation units, like the 60-bed Ferioni apartments and two V-dorm structures with a total bed capacity of 80, to compliment the established isolation units to prevent the local health care system from being stressed in case there will be another surge in the number of COVID cases in the coming months when prevailing community quarantine regulations will be eased up.
The city government department head appealed to residents to continue adhering to the basic health and safety protocols such as the wearing of face masks and shields, the observance of physical distancing and the practice of personal hygiene to help in preventing the spread of the virus in the community. By Dexter A. See