In the event COVID-19 cases continue to rise: CH readies BICs
The NOAH Complex at the South Road Properties in Cebu City that accommodates asymptomatic COVID patients.

In the event COVID-19 cases continue to rise: CH readies BICs

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - January 20, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City may not have any other choice but to reopen Barangay Isolation Centers (BIC) when the need arises – if the number of new cases of COVID-19 will continue to rise.

Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC), told The Freeman on Tuesday that they have already prepared at least three schools as BICs – the elementary schools in Barangays Zapatera, Mabolo, and Mambaling.

“Yes, we have two BICs ready na but, so far, wala pa tay gihatud nga patients. Mambaling is also being prepared. We make it sure that water is available, comfort rooms are functional, na-fogging and na-disinfect na ang facility, ug ang personnel to man the operation like City Health Nurse, BHWs, and PNP are in place na,” Garganera said.

The NOAH Complex at the South Road Properties, which had been Cebu City’s go-to isolation center for asymptomatic patients, already exceeded its bed capacity with 332 patients after the city recorded double figures in new cases in the first half of January alone. As of yesterday, only 20 beds are empty.

As of January 18, based on data from the Department of Health, Cebu City already has 618 active cases following the addition of 41 new cases on that day.

ECO’s own monitoring showed, however, that the city’s active cases are at 611. Still, this is the highest number of active cases since September 2 last year.

The city, too, have already recorded 11 deaths, by far.

Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros told The Freeman that they are looking at utilizing the activity area and the second floor at the NOAH complex to accommodate more beds.

The Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center, which is intended for patients with mild symptoms, has also increased its capacity with 41 beds already occupied out of its 130-bed capacity.

Garganera said it is up to the Office of the Mayor to utilize the Cebu City Quarantine Center anew. The controversial CCQC was used for less than three months only last year.

In public hospitals, COVID bed capacity is now at 65.2 percent with 26 ICU beds occupied. Occupancy at private hospitals for COVID cases is at 18.1 percent.

As a whole, occupancy for COVID patients at this point in 13 public and private hospitals in Cebu City is at 26.9 percent.

Retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano, chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force in the Visayas, said earlier that as long as the bed capacity is below 30 percent, Cebu City is still safe. He also said that that he is confident Cebu City will be able to contain the spike in two weeks’ time.

Dr. Peter Mancao, medical director of NOAH complex, is optimistic that the number of new cases will start to go down starting next week. — JMO (FREEMAN

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