LEGAZPI CITY --- Alarmed by the current spike of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, the Legazpi City Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) has put up two additional isolation facilities to cater exclusively for Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic and considered with mild cases.
Mayor Noel Rosal, IATF chair, on Wednesday, Sept. 2, said the additional isolation facilities had the approval of the Bicol IATF and the Department of Health (DOH).
The city government has rented a hotel and pension house to be used as an isolation facility to decongest the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation (ICR) and the Bicol Regional Training Teaching Hospitals (BRTTH) with asymptomatic and mild patients.
“The additional centers would unclog the ICR and the BRTTH with asymptomatic and mild patients. BRTTH could now concentrate on treating patients with moderate and severe Covid-19 conditions,” he said.
Rosal, in an interview, said he has signed on Aug. 31 a lease agreement with Jennifer Hotel here for the hotel to be converted temporarily as Covid-19 isolation facility exclusively for individuals diagnosed with mild and asymptomatic conditions.
Rosal said Jennifer Hotel which was converted into the City Community Isolation Center in Barangay 15 here has 29 rooms and they will divide the rooms into several cubicles including the function area to accommodate 60 patients with asymptomatic and mild cases.
Earlier, the Legazpi City Pension House in Barangay Arimbay was converted into an isolation facility to accommodate 20 asymptomatic and mild patients.
“Another batch of individuals are expected to be admitted after the patients undergoing 14 days quarantine,” are discharged this week, Rosa said.
The city IATF chief said that the setting up of an additional isolation center in this city was prompted by the spikes in Covid-19 cases here due the influx of locally stranded individuals (LSI) from Metro Manila and the surge in infections in several barangays here.
“Lately there were individuals who were tested positive for Covid-19 but have no travel history, meaning they have been infected due to close contacts with others,” he said.
Rosal said “this situation is alarming, making the city as the epicenter of Covid-19 in Albay based on the DOH Bicol Covid-19 tracker report.
Albay Covid-19 latest count as of Sept 1, indicates 512 total cases. Out of this number, 249 were active, 240 recoveries, 23 deaths. Majority of these cases were in Legazpi City.
“To flatten the curve of covid-19, it is vital for an intensified mass testing, contact tracing and putting up of isolation centers,” Rosal said.
The city IATF has earmarked P2 million fund to finance the rental and maintenance of the two additional isolation facilities, while for the ICR, the local IATFT is spending more than P3 million accommodating 150 LSI, repatriated overseas Filipino, and persons under investigation (PUI)as a result of contact tracing.