By Minerva BC Newman
CEBU CITY – The establishment of the three quarantine facilities in Cebu has greatly helped in decongesting hospitals of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
“Because it is a highly contagious disease, many get infected and what happens is that everybody goes to the hospitals and our hospitals here can no longer accommodate them,” Bayanihan Cebu executive committee member Edmund Liu said during the inauguration of the Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center last Tuesday.
Recognizing the need for quick action Liu added that the Bayanihan Cebu Movement in coordination with various foundations, organizations, companies and families decided to put up facilities that would help decongest the hospitals.
“To be honest, we constantly pray that these facilities will not be needed and while we do pray for that, pragmatism dictates that it is better to have them and not need them than to need them but not have them,” Liu added.
Currently, there are two Bayanihan field centers – the Bayanihan Cebu Field Center-SHS, which was inaugurated a few weeks ago, and the Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center.
The Bayanihan Cebu Field Center-SHS has a 48-bed capacity, and has already accepted 34 COVID-19 patients, two of whom have recovered and have been discharged and returned to their homes, Liu bared.
The Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center has an initial capacity of 130 beds, but this could be expanded to 230 beds. The second field center was set up by DOH-7, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Cebu and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV)
The Cebu City Quarantine Center was constructed at the South Road Property (SRP) that will be operated as an infirmary with 150 to 200 bed capacity.
These quarantine facilities are expected to serve the needs of COVID-19 patients for the entire province of Cebu.
Liu and the Bayanihan Cebu movement believed that the quarantine centers in Cebu can serve as isolation centers and operate as infirmary to address the medical requirements of COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms.
DOH-7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas noted that the new challenge now was isolating and ensuring that the capacity of the health system would not be overwhelmed.
He underscored the need for more quarantine facilities that could also serve as step-down facility from Level 2 or 3 health facilities for those severe cases that have recovered but are still not laboratory negative.
“This way hospitals can clear beds for other patients with severe symptoms. As we embark on the new normal, we all need more facilities for possible increase in cases.” Bernadas added.