BAGUIO CITY – (April 16, 2021) – Aside from increasing its isolation facilities, the city government is also working out ways to help hospitals expand their own operations to address the critical status of the city’s health care utilization in face of the ongoing surge in Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city had gotten the commitment of National Task Force for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to find ways to augment isolation beds possibly through the construction of modular treatment facilities at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).

He said he will follow through on this in the coming days.

The city is also currently expediting the scheme to possibly provide augmentation of the manpower of private hospitals that have earlier declared full occupancy of their dedicated COVID-19 beds.

At present, the city is working double time to increase the bed capacities of the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit at the former Sto. Nin֮o Jesus Medical Center and the Baguio Teachers’ Camp to accommodate more asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 cases.

City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña  said the BCCIU is also being equipped to serve as a step down facility where recovering patients can complete their isolation period to declog public and private hospitals.

Dela Peña who was tasked by the mayor to spearhead the quarantine and isolation facility aspect of the city’s COVID control and response program said they are currently upgrading 50 beds for step down occupancy and will add 50 new ones as replacement at the BCCIU.

Magalong and Dela Peña said the city also responded to the appeal of hospital workers to locate them a stay-in facility where they can bunk in while attending to their hospital duties and protect their families from the danger of contracting the virus from them.

Two hotels – Travel Light and Eurotel – are now being commissioned to serve this purpose.

The current efforts to expand the isolation facilities was made possible through the help of the City Health Services Office, Dr. Willy Occidental, MEP Const., DPWH BCDEO and the Sto. Niño and Teachers’ Camp managements.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo and Dexter See