Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has underscored the importance of isolating coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in government quarantine facilities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the community, even as he said that Pasig City’s referral facility for COVID-19 patients is nearing its full capacity.
In a press briefing on Thursday (July 16), Sotto said the local government is further increasing the city’s healthcare systems capacity to care for more COVID-19 patients.
“Alam po natin na mas safe kung nasa mga pasilidad ng pamahalaan ‘yung mga positive or even ‘yung mga suspected and probable, para hindi na sila makahawa sa komunidad (We know that it is safer if the positive or even the suspected and probable cases are in government facilities, so they can no longer infect the community),” he said.
On Wednesday (July 15), Sotto shared on his official Facebook page an internal document showing the total bed capacity of the city’s COVID-19 referral center at Pasig City Children’s Hospital.
According to the document, only 49 beds remain vacant out of the total 135 beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients.
“While the establishment of our COVID-19 referral center has increased our local healthcare system’s capacity, we are also nearing our limits,” Sotto wrote in the post.
“Overall, I have to admit that the numbers are not that comforting. Social distancing, handwashing, etc are more important than ever. But in cooperation with the national government and the private sector, we will keep working hard to make things better,” he added.
In the briefing, Sotto said the Pasig City Children’s Hospital was converted into a COVID-19 referral center for severe cases.
“I think ito po ‘yung pinaka-unique na ginagawa ng Pasig (I think this is the most unique thing that Pasig has done),” Sotto said.
He explained that they decided to turn the hospital into a referral center dedicated to COVID-19 cases to prevent cross-contamination among patients.
“I think this is one of the best decisions that we made because it really increased the capacity of our healthcare system locally here in Pasig,” the mayor said.
Sotto said changes were made in the structure as well as the layout of the hospital. The local government also increased the hospital’s bed capacity and procured ventilators.
He said converting the children’s hospital into a referral center allowed the city to treat more COVID-19 patients.
“It allowed us to reduce the risk of cross-contamination to non-COVID patients and importantly it allowed us to maintain the services of our general hospital,” he said.
“Overall, it allowed us to use our resources more efficiently,” he added.
Sotto also said in the briefing that Pasig City has converted Dahlia Hotel into a quarantine facility, which can house up to 300 probable and suspected COVID-19 patients. He said the hotel currently caters to 100 patients undergoing quarantine.
Pasig City also transformed Rizal High School into its centralized quarantine facility for mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, he added. It can accommodate up to 1,000 patients.
In order to make the lives of isolated patients comfortable, the mayor said they provided them with entertainment such as movie nights and zumba.
According to the city government, there are 405 active cases of COVID-19 in Pasig as of July 15. The latest data showed that Pasig City has a total of 1,144 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 646 recoveries and 93 deaths.