Cebu City ramps up isolation capacity amid ‘worst surge’

Lorraine Ecarma

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Cebu City ramps up isolation capacity amid ‘worst surge’

MEGA STAY IN CENTER. Photo of the opening of the Mega Stay In Center.

Cebu City PIO

The Mega Stay In Center, with its 150-bed capacity, is reserved for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients of Cebu City

Cebu City is ramping up its isolation capacity to ease what a health think tank describes as the “worst COVID-19” surge since the start of the pandemic.

The city re-purposed the Cebu City Sports Center into the Mega Stay In Center, the largest local isolation facility, which opened on Sunday, August 8.

The 150-bed center is reserved for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients of the city, said Cebu City Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., the official in charge of overseeing the facility.

The center has no admissions yet since other isolation centers still have vacant beds.

“Naa ta’y rooms pa sa atong isolation center pero with this new variant going around, at least it’s better to be prepared. Andam lang ta,” he said.

(We still have rooms in our isolation centers but with this new variant going around, at least it’s better to be prepared. We’re just gearing up.)

Rama told Rappler the city government is already preparing to extend the facility to the adjacent Abellana National School, adding to its current bed capacity.

One doctor, 10 nurses from the City Health Office, and 20 barangay health workers will be assigned to the facility. According to the city councilor, the City Risk Reduction and Management Office is also training sports complex personnel to augment the healthcare workers.

“If ever there is a need to increase the number of nurses, at least we have a standby fund for the nurses,” Rama added.

The city government allocated P5 million to buy essential supplies for the Mega Stay In Center. Beds in the facility were repurposed from the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) Complex, which now serves as a vaccine center.

Worst surge

The new facility launched as OCTA Research group said data gathered during the first week of August showed the “worst COVID surge” in Cebu City.

“The most recent 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases in Cebu increased by 22% from the previous week to 271 (for the period of August 1 to 7). This is higher than the peak of the surge on February 20, 2021, when Cebu City reported 266 new Covid-19 cases,” the report read.

In its August 8 report, the city Emergency Operations Center recorded 208 new COVID19 cases. This increased the number of active cases, or people currently sick with COVID-19 to 3,316. The data comes after the city completed the first week of its 15-day modified enhanced community quarantine– the second strictest quarantine classification.

As of August 7, Cebu City’s occupancy rate still stands at moderate risk or 69.5%.

OCTA also noted the decrease in the city’s reproduction rate from 1.9 in July to 1.51 could be a sign of the COVID spread slowing down.

“The decrease in reproduction number indicated the pandemic in Cebu City may be decelerating. The goal is to implement strictly current measures and interventions to further decrease the reproduction number, eventually causing the number of daily new Covid-19 cases to decrease,” the OCTA report read. –

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