THE city will be using some P20 million from the Department of Public Works and Highways to further bolster its bed capacity in its various COVID-19 isolation units.
According to Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the city will be using the P20 million to add some 150 beds to the city’s isolation unit at the Sto. Niño Hospital, which is one of the city’s primary isolation facilities.
The addition of beds would bring the current 879 beds available in the city to 1,029.
The increase in bed capacity is intended to ensure sufficient capacity in preparation for an expected COVID-19 incidence surge after the disease’s more infectious Delta variant was detected in the city.
Currently, only a third or 33 percent of the city’s beds in the isolation facilities are occupied, but the city is bracing for the expected wave of COVID-19 cases in advance.
While isolation facility bed occupancy is low, the city is seeing a 77 percent healthcare utilization rate, which indicates high load or stress in the city’s various hospitals.
Aside from the Sto. Nino hospital, the local government also operates the 316-bed isolation center at the Roxas and Hernandez halls of the Baguio Teachers Camp, the 10 bed Magsaysay hall, the 102 bed Laurel dormitory for health workers, and the 12-bed central triage facility, along with the six beds in Eurotel and the 40-bed Ferioni apartment which was made available courtesy of the office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in the Cordillera.
The isolation units are more needed now that the city is pushing for all cases, even asymptomatic ones, to undergo facility-based quarantine and isolation for proper handling of the disease and prevention of its spread among family members.