Additional isolation units considered

22 July 2021 – The city is scouting for additional isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients, with a stringent list of requirements before its operation, according to Health Services Office (HSO) Sanitation Division Chief Eng. Charles Bryan Carame.

He made the pronouncement as to queries during the Ugnayan Media forum at city hall, Wednesday, July 21.

As of now only two barangay-based isolation units; Greenwater and Gibraltar, could accommodate Covid-19 patients. They were able to hurdle the requirements crafted as to recommendations from health and medical authorities, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Carame, however, made it clear that LGU Baguio isolation units Sto. Nino and Teacher’s Camp isolation facilities were never filled up to capacity. We are preparing for eventualities if a surge in cases due to the Delta and other variants happen, he said.  

According to Carame, the isolation unit must be fully enclosed, with a minimum distance of 6 meters from residential or populated areas. It should be accessible to Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTS) or health authorities who shall monitor the status and vitals of patients, at least twice a day. Psychosocial intervention through health personnel is also needed in the facility.   

A hospital with the capacity to accept Covid-19 patients should be within 30-minute travel of the facility with emergency vehicles on hand, it was known. 

Only in exceptional and within 10% of the cases, would home isolation be allowed, Carame pointed out.

Extreme care is also taken in arrangements within the facility; with physical implements apart, separate spaces and wash areas for males and females, partitions that could be sanitized and disinfected, good ventilation, adequate plumbing and access to electricity and water.

Constant disinfection also needs to be practiced in the facility, with garbage labeled and segregated in color-coded waste bins, it was emphasized.

Only patients within the ages of 18 to 60 can be accommodated, with provisions of basic needs; hand hygiene facilities, decontamination and sterilization, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the list states.

Emergency medicines and supplies, such as 70% isopropyl alcohol, disinfecting materials, goggles, face mask and shield; oral rehydration salts; non-contact pulse oximeter, thermometer and sphygmomanometer and other essential materials need to be on hand, it was listed.  – Julie G. Fianza