By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Nancy Binay on Thursday urged the Department of Health (DOH) and other local health units to explore the possibility of converting hostels into temporary quarantine centers for patients under investigation (PUIs) as the country battles the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Binay said health authorities should consider this should cases of COVID-19 become prevalent in the provinces.
Local government units (LGUs), she said, may need to come up with strategies to help abate the spread of the virus.
“It’s only a matter of time when LGUs will be overwhelmed with many COVID-related concerns,” Binay said.
“Perhaps, they can explore and study the possibility of engaging local hotels and establishments of similar nature and convert them as temporary quarantine centers.”
The senator also suggested that provincial governments can follow the lead of Albay where a hotel in Tabaco City was repurposed as quarantine center for cases of COVID-19.
“LGUs also need to anticipate the unlikeliness of the situation. Because of the limited bed capacity, di kayang i-accommodate ng mga local private at government hospitals ang mga PUIs,” she said.
“It is for the best interest to have a designated quarantine center in order to isolate patients from the rest of the population.”
As a precautionary and preventive measure, the lawmaker said LGUs may lead the creation of strategies to proactively respond to a public health emergency.
“Kailangan ng pre-emptive response—and having a controlled clearing house ensures the public that the government is on top of the situation,” Binay noted.
She added that by having a controlled quarantine facility, LGUs can achieve minimal community transmissions thereby ensuring the public’s health and safety.