MANILA - The local government of Quezon City plans to transform some buildings in the city into isolation facilities, as hospitals there continue to be filled with fresh admissions amid the surge of COVID-19 infections, it said Friday.
In a statement, the QC government said it has started identifying the possible buildings to attain an additional 1,000 isolation beds. The buildings being eyed include public schools, local government infrastructures, and dormitories.
"[These] are currently being considered, evaluated, and retrofitted into isolation or quarantine facilities to help reduce the number of transmissions in communities and also decongest emergency rooms and other hospital facilities," the statement read, noting that some buildings will also be used as dedicated quarters for health workers.
Mayor Joy Belmonte, on the other hand, described their initiative as the "fastest way" to decongest hospitals while also controlling the virus spread.
"Since asymptomatic or those with mild symptoms do not need extensive medical care, they can be admitted in these facilities until their full recovery," said Belmonte.
She also pointed out that they would assign health workers to monitor the patients.
REOPENING ISOLATION FACILITIES
The local government said that 3 buildings in the Quezon City University, previously used as community quarantine facilities last year, would be reopened to become isolation and quarantine facilities.
With the help of Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Philippine Medical Association and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the University of the Philippines' Kamia Residence Hall will likewise be transformed into a quarantine facility, providing 282 beds.
"[This] will cater to COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms," according to the statement.
San Francisco High School's Building B in Barangay Sto. Cristo, meanwhile, will become an isolation area with 4 beds in 24 classrooms.
The local government also partnered with Ateneo de Manila University and the PRC for additional quarantine facilities in the Ateneo’s Junior High School complex.
They clarified, however, that only patients referred by the Quezon City government would be allowed in the said quarantine facility.
"These buildings are just the initial list of identified facilities. The city government is in talks with other private organizations for the possible use of their facilities for COVID-19 patients or healthcare workers," the LGU said.
The Department of Health earlier identified Makati, QC, Taguig, and Manila hospitals that are seeing high admissions as COVID-19 cases continues to spike.
Meanwhile, hospitals in the capital region continue to be inundated with new COVID-19 admissions, despite nearly two weeks since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was imposed in the region and nearby provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan.
Dedicated intensive care units in Metro Manila are 80 percent filled up, based on the health department's latest bulletin. Isolation beds have also reached 72 percent capacity.