San Juan City boosts COVID-19 readiness

Published July 15, 2020, 7:35 PM

by Manila Bulletin

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora on Wednesday asserted the readiness of the city government to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease during an on-site inspection of three local COVID-19 isolation facilities.

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora

During the inspection, he revealed increased bed capacity for COVID-19 patients in the city, free hospitalization, free food, free WiFi, and P3,000 financial assistance during confinement.

San Juan City now has a total of 197 beds for COVID-19 infected San Juaneños with doctors, nurses, and other medical workers looking after them 24 hours a day, Zamora said.

“We want to reduce the number of new infections and ultimately defeat COVID-19 in San Juan City that is why we are encouraging our constituents who are COVID-19 positive to admit themselves into any of our three isolation facilities.

Their admission in our facilities will mean that there will be no chance for them to transmit the virus to their family members and loved ones in their homes and their communities,” Mayor Zamora explained.

During the inspection, the mayor showed the three COVID-19 isolation facilities, namely: the San Juan Medical Center (SJMC), the Kalinga Center, and the San Juan National High School Annex Basketball Court.

At the start of the pandemic, San Juan City was quick to convert SJMC, a primary care hospital, into a COVID-19 facility with the opening of a 26-bed isolation ward and 17 isolation rooms.

The hospital’s bed capacity was further expanded with the installation of lightweight, modular container vans converted into air-conditioned isolation rooms with 18 beds.

SJMC now has 10 ventilators with four new ones acquired by the city last March to supplement the six that SJMC already has. With the city’s zero balance billing policy, San Juan City will shoulder all cost incurred by patients in the hospital.

To boost the city’s facilities, 100 more beds for COVID-19-related patients are available at the San Juan COVID-19 Kalinga Center. The Kalinga Center, a joint project of the San Juan City government and the Alumni Association of Xavier School (AAXS), was originally just a quarantine facility for PUIs and PUMs. However, with the increasing number of positive patients in Metro Manila, its upper floors were converted into a COVID-19 treatment facility for asymptomatic and mild patients.

The San Juan National High School Annex Basketball Court was converted into a 36-bed isolation facility last March and was used by the San Juan PNP.

With the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the country, the facility was converted for the use of San Juan constituents in general, not just police personnel.

In a bid to encourage isolation in the city’s facilities instead of home quarantine, where the risk of contagion to other members of the household is high, Mayor Zamora promised all those who will enter any of the three facilities that the city government will pay for the medicines, and board and lodging. They will also be served breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Positive patients will also receive P3,000 financial aid during their stay at the city’s isolation facilities while away from their families. All of these facilities also have free WiFi access for all the patients.

Zamora is committed to reduce, if not totally halt the spread of COVID-19 cases in the city.