400 bed Baguio isolation unit completed by October
9 September 2020 – The local government and the public works department are currently working to expand the capacity of the Baguio City Isolation Unit at the former Sto. Niño Hospital to at least 400 beds by the end of October.
City Administrator Engr. Bonifacio dela Peña stated that the upgrading of the city’s isolation unit funded by the public works department amounting to P12 million was already awarded to the winning contactor and that the programmed works will commence the soonest to ensure that the facility will be able to accommodate the increasing number of Corona Virus Disease (COVID) patients who are required to undergo isolation.
Currently, he admitted that the isolation unit’s capacity is up to a maximum of 90 beds but the local government was able to work out the conversion of the Baguio Teachers Camp into a temporary treatment and monitoring facility where it has some 129 beds.
Further, the local government and the public works department will be able to complete the 16-bed isolation unit that was constructed within the Baguio Convention Center (BCC) grounds to serve as an additional facility for the possible surge of confirmed COVID cases in the coming weeks.
The city administrator claimed that the contractor of the improvement of the city’s isolation facility will be working on the former Sto. Niño hospital on a per floor basis so that its capacity will be increasing on a periodic basis until such time that the maximum capacity of 400 beds will be achieved preferably by the end of next month.
According to him, the city wants to ensure that the capacity of the city’s isolation unit will be more than the existing occupancy to prevent the possible congestion once there will be an unexpected surge in the umber of patients because of the ongoing aggressive expanded testing and contact tracing.
He pointed out that the local government wants to ensure that the capacity of the existing isolation units will not be overwhelmed when the city will be easing up on the tourism industry and accept visitors from the different parts of Region I that is why efforts are being done to complete the ongoing works that will guarantee the availability of the 400 isolation beds by October.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong requested the city administrator, in close coordination with other concerned offices of the local government, to conduct an ocular inspection of a facility in Irisan that could be converted as an additional isolation facility when the need arises in the future to guarantee that the existing isolation units will not be overwhelmed when there will be a sudden surge in COVID cases.
He explained that it is important for the city to continue looking into other public or private structures that could be tapped as possible isolation facilities in the future as the number of confirmed COVID cases remain unpredictable.
The present occupancy of the Baguio isolation unit and the Baguio Teachers Camp remain to be below the prescribed limit amidst the increasing number of cases due to the aggressive implementation of the expanded testing and contact tracing. ** Dexter A. See