BARMM builds 100-bed capacity COVID-19-focused facility

Published April 22, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – The construction of a 100-bed isolation facility in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is already being rushed to accommodate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related cases, officials said Wednesday, April 22.

This photo taken early this month shows workers laying the foundation of a 100-bed capacity isolation facility for COVID-19 cases in the Bangsamoro region. The facility is near the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. (BARMM / MANILA BULLETIN)
This photo taken early this month shows workers laying the foundation of a 100-bed capacity isolation facility for COVID-19 cases in the Bangsamoro region. The facility is near the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. (BARMM / MANILA BULLETIN)

BARMM Inter-Agency Task Force Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Asnin Pendatun said the isolation facility is located near the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital (CSH) in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. The CSH is one of major referral hospitals for COVID-19 cases in BARMM.

In his virtual presser on Tuesday, Pendatun did not mention when the BARMM’s Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has started the construction works, saying only that the building will be completed within three weeks.

“Batay sa (construction) update, ina-anticipate po natin na matatapos po ito within three weeks,” he said, adding that the facility is a joint project of the MPW and the Ministry of Health (MoH), also of BARMM.

Pendatun also said that the Bangsamoro IATF was “leaning towards the direction” of using rapid test kits in BARMM to be consistent with the guidelines set by the national government.

However, he clarified that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing will still be the sole basis for determining whether a patient was COVID-19 positive or not.

“Ang national government is also leaning towards using rapid test kits, but not as the sole basis or the standard for testing confirmed cases. This is perhaps a way for augmenting or supplementing our testing,” Pendatun said.

He said the MOH will request a portion of the budget for the purchase of the rapid test kits from the national government. But should there be any delay in the release of the funds, the regional government will purchase the rapid test kits on its own.

As of Tuesday, he said, BARMM has posted a total of nine COVID-19 confirmed cases, after an additional case, indexed as PH6367, was reported from Marawi City.

The new patient had tested positive for the viral disease with other lingering ailments such as hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, and is currently admitted at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City, Pendatun said.

Overall, he said, BARMM has zero probable and 235 suspected COVID-19 cases: 46 from Maguindanao, 32 from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, 42 from Basilan and Lamitan City, 23 from Tawi-Tawi, 62 from Sulu, and 30 from Sibakil Island in Basilan.

 
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