Cebu City’s Covid beds still enough

·3 min read

THERE are enough facilities in Cebu City to handle the current spike of coronavirus cases in the city, according to the Department of Health Central

Visayas (DOH 7).

Data shows that out of 130 beds at the Bayanihan Cebu-IEC Field Center only 60 or 46 percent were occupied as of Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

The facility is located at the International Eucharistic Congress Convention Center along Pope John Paul II Ave.

“IEC is still not fully occupied. While CCQC (Cebu City Quarantine Center) is already open and we lack occupancy,” said DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas in a mix of Cebuano and English when asked if he saw the need to open other field centers for Covid-19 patients.

The Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center has been overseen by the DOH 7 along with the Sacred Heart School (SHS) Field Center in the old SHS campus along General Maxilom Ave. which has stopped being an isolation facility when the school’s contract with DOH 7 ended last January.

“Terminated na contract with SHS. Our staff has pulled out in favor of the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) Cebu City,” Bernadas told SunStar Cebu on Friday.

Both facilities were intended to help decongest hospitals by accommodating mild to moderate Covid-19 patients who may not have the resources and facilities to self-isolate.

The SHS Field Center had a total bed capacity of 48.

Its operations were suspended since Oct. 1, 2020 due to redundancies as only a few patients were admitted in the facility, Bernadas said.

However, in anticipation of the surge in Covid cases in January, the DOH 7 extended the contract of both the SHS field center (until Jan. 31, 2021) and the IEC field center

(until March 30).

Both contracts were supposed to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

Bernadas said after the EOC took over the SHS-Field Center, the DOH 7 staff moved into the temporary treatment and monitoring facility of the Department of Public Works and Highways 7 at the South Road Properties (SRP).

Meanwhile, Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, said as of Feb. 10, Cebu City’s critical care utilization rate (CCUR) was at 41.6 percent.

Of the 903 Covid beds in the city, 376 were occupied including 27 ICU beds.

“To me, that’s alarming. But if you ask the healthcare people, that’s normal,” said EOC deputy chief implementer Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera.


Across the city, six out of the eight reopened barangay isolation centers (BICs) are now being used to house Covid patients while the two remained vacant.

Garganera said depending on the city’s situation, they may yet open additional BICs. He said the EOC is prepared to open 11 BICs.

As of Feb. 11, 2021, EOC data showed that a total of 313 patients were now staying at the six BICs located in Barangays Guadalupe, Mabolo, City Central, Labangon, Zapatera, and Pardo.

Around 300 beds remained available in the six BICs, while there are 160 beds in the two unoccupied BICs.

There are also hotels in Cebu City which are being used as isolation facilities, with 95 occupied beds and 12 available.

Garganera said the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) will provide a list of more hotels to be accredited as isolation facilities.

In the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) 396 beds were occupied, while 37 remained available.

At the CCQC which could accommodate patients with severe conditions, 115 beds were occupied while 45 beds were still available.

Garganera said there are also patients who opt to stay at home especially persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the mentally challenged.

Based on data of the DOH 7, Cebu City had 2,671 active Covid cases as of Feb. 11. A total of 170 new cases were recorded.

Garganera said Cebu City is now seeing an average of 150 new cases daily. / JJL