Cagayan De Oro City

Cagayan de Oro expands COVID-19 isolation facilities

Bobby Lagsa
Cagayan de Oro expands COVID-19 isolation facilities

Locally stranded individuals wait to board to passenger ship at Northport terminal in Manila on June 26,2020 going to Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Palawan after of months being stranded in National Capital Region due to quarantine measures amid COVID19 threat.

Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

The city now has 1,000 beds in its City Isolation Units for arriving residents, up from 800 beds

The city government has expanded its coronavirus isolation facilities to accommodate the increasing number of returning residents and overseas Filipinos.

The city now has 1,000 beds in its City Isolation Units (CIUs) for arriving residents, up from 800 beds.

Local officials expanded the city’s isolation units by tapping more rooms in Department of Health-accredited hotels, as more returning residents have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Acting City Health Officer Dr Lorraine Nery said that the number of COVID-19 cases among returning residents is high. She said that of the 98 confirmed cases in Cagayan de Oro as of Wednesday, July 15, 74 or  75.5% of the total cases, are returning locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) and overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

CIU manager Rhyselle Descallar said the isolation facilities are well-equipped and are manned by health workers and volunteers trained in running such facilities.

“The city government has set aside enough budget to shoulder the costs of accommodation, food, medical and psychosocial interventions, among others for LSI/ROFs in isolation,” Descallar said.

‘Comfortable stay’

Moreno said hotels were tapped for the isolation facilities as they want the returning residents “to have a comfortable stay while they are in isolation.”

“We never put our residents in covered courts, public schools because we want them to have a humane condition while in isolation,” he added.

Moreno also said that as of July 11, the city’s critical care utilization rate (CCUR) is only at 8.03%.

“This means that 92.97% of the city’s health system capacities are still available to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In other words, Cagayan de Oro City’s health system capacity is in good shape,” he said.

Health system capacities refer to the availability of intensive care unit (ICU), beds isolation beds and mechanical ventilators.

“If the city’s CCUR is lower than the 30% threshold, then we can say that the city is in a better position,” the mayor added. 

LGU responsibility

Moreno said that it is the responsibility of the local government to make sure that those who return will be provided care in the isolation facilities and tested before they are sent home.

He urged those who did not undergo the required processes upon entering the city should report to city hall. Otherwise, Moreno said, their neighbors who want to stem the rise of cases will report them.

“They need to cooperate with the city health office team assigned in Laguindingan Airport, Macabalan Port, and bus terminals in the city,” Moreno said.

Under the city protocol, arriving residents are brought to isolation centers for a 14-day quarantine. Between the 5th and 7th day, they will be subjected to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. 

Nery said that those in quarantine are discharged from the isolation facilities after testing negative, even if they have not finished the 14-day quarantine. “We want to make room for other LSI/ROFs arriving here,” she said. –