Baguio City ready for holiday surge in COVID-19 cases

Published December 10, 2020, 10:19 AM

by Zaldy Comanda

BAGUIO CITY – The city government is ready for the expected surge in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases during the Yuletide season with isolation units being upgraded and more than 1,000 isolation beds to be completed by the end of the year. 

The former Sto. Niño hospital which is serving as the central isolation unit will have a maximum bed capacity of 400 by the end of the month compared to its present capacity of 233 beds. 

The 116-bed Roxas hall and the 112-bed Hernandez Hall and Superintendent’s Quarters at the Baguio Teachers Camp are being upgraded to a 560-bed joint capacity by the end of the month.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said aside from these isolation units, the city acquired from the government’s Oplan Kalinga under the national task force the 53-bed V Dorm 2 and the 60-bed Ferioni apartment that now serve as  quarantine facilities for individuals awaiting the release of their swab test results from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), the designated sub-national testing laboratory in Northern Luzon. 

Dela Peña said the city government received P12 million from Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, the country’s isolation czar, for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Sto. Niño Hospital to a 400-bed isolation unit while another P13 million was made available by the DPWH-CAR for the upgrading of the isolation units at the Baguio Teachers Camp. 

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said that because of the discharges of patients in the different isolation facilities over the past several days, there are more than 500 isolation beds available which are enough to cater to the projected surge in COVID cases during the Yuletide season.