SC sets up emergency care unit for COVID-positive personnel in third level courts
This file photo shows the Supreme Court.
Philstar.com/ Erwin Cagadas

SC sets up emergency care unit for COVID-positive personnel in third level courts

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - May 10, 2021 - 5:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has set up an emergency care unit (ECU) in its compound that will house employees of tribunal and third level courts infected with the novel coronavirus while waiting for hospital confinement.

In a statement on Monday, the SC said Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo approved the Guidelines on the Use of the Supreme Court Gymnasium as ECU.

“Aside from SC employees, employees of Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals may avail of the ECU. The Guidelines are effective immediately,” the SC Public Information Office added.

The ECU will be under the management of the Office of the Administrative Services, led by Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer Maria Carina Cunanan.

The ECU, located on the fifth floor of the SC-CA building, has already been set up, added Cunanan. The unit has a total of 55 beds, and will accommodate asymptomatic and those with mild or moderate symptoms waiting transfer to quarantine facilities or hospital confinement.

 “The ECU will hire medical personnel who will be under the direct control and supervision of the SC-[Medical and Dental Services],” it added.

It will also operate on a “first come, first served” basis. No visitors are allowed, but the SC PIO said they encourage communications through remote means between patients and their families.

The high court also assured that flow of entry into and exit in the ECU shall be strictly monitored and roaming around the unit shall not be allowed.

“The SC-MDS shall prepare and submit a daily report, including the daily monitoring of employees who are admitted in the ECU to the OAS-SC, which in turn shall endorse the same to the Office of the Chief Justice,” it added.

The ECU inside the SC compound came after the high court inked a partnership deal with the Philippine National Red Cross and the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde on the use of temporary isolation and quarantine facility inside the school campus for Judiciary employees in the National Capital Region Plus Bubble who tested positive for COVID-19.

The SC has also approved cash assistance for trial court employees who were hospitalized or who died due to COVID-19.

Judiciary employees, along with other frontline personnel in essential sectors, have been included in the A4 priority category on the government’s priority vaccination list.

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