By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY— The San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Foundation officially turned over to the Central Command (CentCom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Friday, May 1, an emergency quarantine facility (EQF) that the 53rd Engineer Brigade constructed within the Camp Lapulapu compound in Lahug, Cebu City.
The newly built EQF can accommodate military personnel, civilian employees, and their dependents with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections. The EQF is sealed with a single air pass (non-circulating) ventilation with the incorporation of a negative pressure system. It is equipped with disinfection, sanitizing, testing, shower, and nurses’ areas and can accommodate 15 patients.
Col. Gerardo Catindoy, commander of the 53rd Engineer Brigade, acknowledged the generosity of the SMC for donating the quarantine facility that will serve as a medium in helping the soldiers and local communities with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newly constructed EQF, which cost about P500,00, and was built in just 10 days so that it could be used for additional medical services since it is also equipped with hospital beds, portable toilets, testing shower, nurses’ area, as well as sanitation and disinfection areas which can accommodate 15 patients, Catindoy said.
DOH’s one of the lead consultants Dr. Shawn Espina and a team of architects of Cebu Bayanihan-OPAV provided advice to ensure that the facility adheres to DOH’s safety standards. According to Espina, the facility can be considered as level 2 quarantine facility that can accommodate COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
Due to the reported over-capacity in hospitals, the EQF project was made possible through the concerted efforts of the AFP, SMC, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu Incorporated (THICI), WTA Architecture and Design Studio and Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) to efficiently attend to COVID-19 patients, and contribute in easing the congestion in various health facilities within the city.