Baguio temporarily closes 'small' isolation units to cut cost

Philippine News Agency
February 22, 2021

BAGUIO CITY – Three small isolation centers that the city is using will be temporarily closed by the local government as part of its cost-cutting measures.

Baguio’s Public Information Office chief Aileen Refuerzo on Monday said the decision is to help reduce the government’s expenses in maintaining the centers with limited occupancy and focus on the bigger ones to ensure the implementation of an aggressive and sustainable coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.

She said those that will be closed are the V-Dorm and the Ferioni Apartment which have a total bed capacity of about 140. The two facilities are both located at Barangay Teodora Alonzo which is near the Baguio Health Services Office (HSO).

She said Mayor Benjamin Magalong has assured that the isolation units can be opened anytime if there is a need to use the facilities.

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 cases due to the aggressive contact tracing and the several conduct of expanded testing.

Refuerzo, however, said the city will maximize the utilization of the Sto. Niño community isolation facility which has a bed capacity of 300 and the different halls at Teachers Camp which were converted as isolation facilities having a total bed capacity of 500.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the city has 252 active Covid-19 cases out of the 5,466 total cases recorded since 2020.

Dr. Rowena Galpo, city health officer, said the number of patients recovering from the different isolation units in the city is increasing daily which is why there are more than enough beds that are available for suspected and probable cases.

The doctor also clarified that the 24-bed isolation unit at the Baguio Convention Center that is adjacent to the city’s triage center will continue to operate.

The facility was put up by the DPWH using four big container vans that they converted into separate structures with several rooms.

The 12 rooms at the facility are used as emergency isolation for triage clients who are positive thru a rapid antigen test while awaiting the result of the polymerase chain reaction test. The other rooms are used by health workers at the triage for resting. (PNA

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