By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – The city government of Bacolod has found a temporary quarantine facility for persons under monitoring (PUMs) for suspected infection of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
City Administrator Em Ang disclosed that South Hills Academy in Barangay Alijis here will be utilized as the city’s pilot quarantine facility.
She said the city government had already contacted the owner of the school, which was no longer in operation, and that local officials were given permission to use the facility.
Ang said the city had actually eyed the use of the Education and Training Center School (E.T.C.S) – I extension building at the Reclamation area in Barangay 16 here for use of PUMs as quarantine area.
However, they received a memorandum from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), prohibiting the use of the school for the purpose, prompting them to find another venue.
Ang said they just have to make some repairs at South Hills Academy that are now being undertaken by the City Engineer’s Office (CEO).
She said that the CEO is now preparing to put up facilities and other equipment needed for the quarantine center. It has 17 rooms with individual bathrooms, she added.
“Hopefully, this will be running before the end of this week,” she said.
She said they will also request for the installation of water line from the Bacolod Water District (Baciwa).
Aside from the said venue, Ang said that they were also preparing 165 other rooms from seven school districts through the approval of the Department of Education (DepEd).
“This facility is being prepared in case there is massive outbreak of COVID-19 cases here,” she said.
PUMs can just stay at home and observe strict self-quarantine, but the facility will be for patients whose families may want to isolate him or her away from their homes, and to those whose houses do not have enough space for isolation.
For his part, Mayor Evelio Leonardia thanked the owner of South Hills Academy for offering the school, which he claimed looks ideal for the said purpose.
Meanwhile, Ang said they are also planning to have a quarantine facility for Persons Under Investigation (PUIs).
Currently, all hospitals here have a total of only 38 isolation rooms.
Ang said: “We’ll be needing a center for PUIs with severe symptoms,” she added.
She said they are eyeing to put up the facility for PUI near the Bacolod Queen of Mercy Hospital in Eroreco, Barangay Mandalagan. The structure has been no longer used for so long, she added.
She said the venue was already inspected and evaluated by the city engineers for repairs and other necessities.
The Bacolod City Task Force against COVID-19 has reported five PUIs admitted and isolated in the hospitals here, and a total of 1,294 PUMs who undergo a 14-day quarantine.