A sprawling COVID-19 facility will be set up in Bataan to help process the growing number of returning residents, including overseas Filipinos, Bataan Governor Albert Garcia announced on Saturday, August 15.
It will be the largest facility of its kind in the province.
According to Garcia, the 3-hectare facility in the municipality of Orani would promote the centralization of manpower, with returning residents having to undergo rigid procedures to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Local health officials observed that Bataan's sudden surge in COVID-19 cases could be due to to local transmission in communities, brought about by the influx of Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF), including seafarers, Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI), and Authorized Personnel Outside of Residence (APOR).
“We needed to step up to the emerging challenges in our fight against COVID-19. The centralized processing facility that we have set up in Balanga City sadly gets overwhelmed because the number of OFWs coming home to Bataan increases by the day,” Garcia said.
The governor said the completion of the mega facility will be the most appropriate measure to address that challenge.
The processing facility is slated to be completed in one to two months. Once operational, the 4-storey building will have about 300 separate rooms with toilets for quarantine areas.
Architect Henry Mayuga designed the facility, which will also have a reception area, triage area, kitchen, parking lot, and waste disposal system.
As of August 15, Bataan has recorded at total of 491 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who have returned to the province, with 432 of them testing negative for COVID-19, and 12 testing positive. Forty-seven are currently waiting for results.
To date, Bataan has 559 COVID-19 positive cases, 198 of which are active. The Death toll is at 15, while recovery is at 346. There are 264 people awaiting the results of their Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. – Rappler.com