Quezon City cites isolation facilities in high recovery rate

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government has attributed the city’s high recovery rate to the Hope isolation facilities, where coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with mild symptoms and suspected cases are admitted and properly taken care of until they test negative.

“The Hope community caring facilities remain one of the priority programs of the city to battle COVID-19,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said yesterday.

“Our current capacity will be further expanded to ensure that those who cannot undergo self-isolation have a place to stay where they will be cared for and treated by medical professionals complete with meals and comfortable board and lodging,” she added.

As of Friday, 2,676 out of 4,952 cases in the city have recovered, translating to a recovery rate of 54 percent.

The national recovery rate is at 34.9 percent, with the latest data from the Department of Health showing 21,440 recoveries out of 61,266 cases.

Compared with the Metro Manila average, city epidemiology and surveillance head Rolly Cruz said the number of recoveries in the Quezon City is higher than the active cases, which is currently at 1,909.

Cruz attributed this to the early isolation of mild and asymptomatic patients who are not able to comply with health protocols for home quarantine.

Suspected cases waiting for the results of their swab tests are also admitted to the different Hope facilities, which are manned by skilled in-house health care personnel.

Currently, the isolation facilities have 500 beds, with further plans for expansion.

Belmonte said the construction of two new Hope facilities with an estimated total capacity of 280 beds is now underway and expected to be operational by early August.

“One is the repurposed old building of the Quezon City General Hospital and the other is a school building that has yet to be turned over to the Department of Education,” she said.

The city is also partnering with the Department of Public Works and Highways to renovate two other facilities for a slated September opening.

When these projects are completed, the city will have a total of 1,400 beds for patients and suspected cases.

Belmonte said healthcare workers who have served in Hope facilities are provided with accommodations after working for two weeks.

“This would allow them to isolate and wait for negative test results to ensure that they are safe when they return to their families,” she added.

Quarantine violators

Meanwhile, the city government said it has apprehended 99 violators during the intensified campaign to implement quarantine protocols last Wednesday.

Public Order and Safety head Elmo San Diego said most of the offenders were apprehended for violating the city ordinance on the mandatory wearing of facemasks.

A minor was also apprehended for violating guidelines prohibiting those below 21 years old to be outside of their residence.

Officials reached out to the minor’s family to ensure that they understand the seriousness of the pandemic and why high-risk individuals are not allowed to go out.

The other 98 who were apprehended also underwent a seminar and were processed and documented before being allowed to leave.

The city government earlier launched the “Why I Wear A Mask” campaign to highlight the importance of wearing facemasks in public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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