Baguio closes 4 isolation units for cost cutting

BAGUIO CITY – (16 February 2021) – Some four isolation centers in the city will be temporarily closed by the local government as part of the city’s cost cutting measures to ensure the implementation of an aggressive and sustainable anti-Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 response.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo stated that the isolation units that will be temporally closed will include the V dorms and the Ferioni apartment located along Teodora Alonzo St. to help reduce the city’s expenses in maintaining the centers with limited occupancy.

Earlier, the local government engaged Oplan Kalinga through the National Task Force Against COVID-19 to shoulder the expenses that will be incurred with the operation of the additional isolation units because of the previous surges in the number of cases due to the ongoing aggressive contact tracing and expanded testing.

However, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stipulated that the isolation units can be opened anytime once there will be a need for the use of the facilities when the need arises once there will be surges in the number of cases in the coming weeks with the proposed easing up of the prevailing community quarantine guidelines by next month.

He said that health authorities should allow those completing their 10 or 14-day isolation in the aforesaid facilities to be discharged and to refer to the remaining isolation centers suspected and probable cases prior to the temporary closure of the units.

The city was able to increase the capacity of the central isolation center at the former Sto. Nino hospital to 300 and the Baguio Teachers Campo isolation units to approximately 500.

The 24-bed isolation unit at the Baguio Convention Center adjacent the city’s triage center where 12 beds will be devoted to the health workers actively participating in the conduct of triaging while the 12 beds will be for the individuals that will test positive for the deadly virus during the tests being undertaken in the triage.

Magalong requested the health authorities to continue maintaining the Laurel dorm as a dedicated isolation unit for health workers to allow them to be able to rest to be able to recharge themselves in serving the needs of the individuals who test positive for the virus.

Galpo claimed that the number of patients recovering from the different isolation units in the city is increasing daily that is why there are more than enough beds that are available for suspected and probable cases.

Last year, the city was able to acquire some P12 million from the public works department that was used to improve the capacity of the city’s central isolation unit and another P13 million that was also used to increase the capacity of the Baguio Teachers camp isolation units.

The medical officer noted that the current critical care utilization of the city is around 67 percent which is on the warning stage based on the standards of the health department.

Based on the prevailing standards, the critical care utilization rate is considered to be safe if the same is below 30 percent, it will be elevated to the warning zone if it falls in the range of over 30 percent and less than 70 percent and it will be in the danger zone if the range is more than 70 percent. – Dexter A. See