Cebu City unveils new quarantine site

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - May 29, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City government did not spend a single centavo in the construction and conversion of the Big Foot Studios into the New Normal Oasis for Adaption and a Home Complex or NOAH Complex at the South Road Properties (SRP).

The city government reportedly allocated P50 million for this, but not a single centavo was used for the conversion of the said facility to a quarantine facility from the city's coffers, said Vice mayor Michael Rama.

Former city councilor Jocelyn Pesquera has been tapped to manage the NOAH Complex.

Among those who collaborated with the City Council for this project include Michael GJ Gleissner, Beautiful Cebu Movement Foundation Incorporated, Operation Smile International, Buhing Pasko Association, Incorporated, Cebu City Progressive Uptown Movement, Rotary Club of Cebu Guadalupe, SM, Metro Pacific, Robinson’s, Filinvest, Ocean Park, Cebu Medical Society, Oasis of Love, CCTN,  Visayan Electric, Pilipinas Water, Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, Natures Spring, Cebu City Uptown Progressive Movement, among others.

The complex, which Archbishop Jose Palma has blessed, is expected to be operational by June 8, ahead ofDepEd-7’s June-15 deadline for the use of public schools as barangay isolation centers.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who graced the blessing, said the facility is a proof of Cebu's "bayanihan spirit and that it is always at the forefront."

"With four quarantine facilities here, the Cebuanos is leading the way. You showed that the bayanihan spirit here is well and alive with the private sector supporting the government," said Roque.

He said the government cannot do it all alone.

Mayor Edgardo Labella said he is happy with the blessing of the new one and said Cebu has more than enough quarantine facilities.

"It's better to have one and not use it, than need one (and yet) we do not have it," said Labella.

He also underscored the presence of Vice Mayor Michael Rama in the event, saying no one than can break their bond.  The City Council has conveyed their full support to the project.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and some representatives of the other government and non-government agencies were also present.

The NOAH’s complex, which is designed by the United Architects of the Philippines-Rajah Humabon Chapter and utilized the manpower of the 53rd Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army, can accommodate 320 individuals in a 14-day cycle. Each patient will have its cubicle with bed and personal hygiene kits.  The facility also has a shower area, lavatory and toilets.

This facility will be used for COVID-19 positive but asymptomatic patients or category 1, while the one at the North Reclamation Area, also known as the Cebu City Quarantine Center, is for category 2 or those patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

Councilor Dondon Hontiveros who is also named assistant manager of the complex told The FREEMAN that aside from being a “safe haven” for asymptomatic patients, Noah’s mission is to educate patients so they can also protect their families of this disease as well as empowering them with the proper personal, psycho-social, cultural and spiritual support mechanism.

Should there be patients that will show symptoms, there will be a separate isolation for them in case they cannot be transferred to the Cebu City Quarantine Center or in the Bayanihan Field Center 1 and 2.

Rama, for his part, said they are also planning to put up a facility beside NOAH's Complex to cater to the homeless, making it truly a liberation site for the City of Cebu.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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