By Malu Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY – Officials of the Department of Health in Soccsksargen (Region 12) had chosen the hospital at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan, North Cotabato as isolation facility for persons under investigation (PUI) or those who have manifested mild flu-like symptoms.
Cotabato second district board member Dr. Philbert Malaluan, manager of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) said the USM Hospital in Kabacan town passed the standards set by the DoH-12 to become a PUI isolation facility.
The hospital, he explained, has at least 100 beds. But the provincial government will only use 70 beds for PUIs.
“The hospital is complete with facilities and amenities needed to make our PUIs comfortable and has enough personnel to take care of them,” Malaluan said.
With USM Hospital as the main isolation facility for North Cotabato, the provincial government will no longer need to rehabilitate the community hospital in President Roxas town for COVID-19 measures.
This means, he stressed, the P12 million allotted by the LGU for President Roxas Community Hospital will be re-aligned to cover other COVID-19 projects and programs.
Earlier, the Sangguniang Bayan of President Roxas passed a resolution strongly opposing the plan to establish their community hospital as PUIs isolation facility as this will allegedly make residents in the area vulnerable to the virus.
On Friday, the DoH-12 officials visited the community hospital in President Roxas town and said it did not pass their standards.
Also, the M’lang District Hospital in M’lang, Cotabato failed to pass the standards set by the DOH 12.
The first isolation facility the provincial government set up in early March was the 10-bed room at the Cotabato Provincial Hospital (CPH).
“We can’t allow the whole CPH as isolation facility as we will have to cater to other patients. We already have problems with the private hospitals. Many of them no longer accept patients with cough, colds, and fever for fear they might have the Covid-19. That is a challenge to us at the provincial government,” he said.