THE Lapu-Lapu City Government’s isolation facility inside the Hoops Dome in Barangay Gun-ob is not accredited.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health (DOH) 7 spokesperson, told SunStar Cebu that the isolation facility never applied for accreditation, which was why it was never inspected by the agency.
The DOH 7’s Accreditation and Licensing Division checked the site on Monday, March 22, 2021, after a 36-year-old overseas Filipino worker (OFW) died of a heart attack days after being quarantined there on Friday, March 19.
Loreche said the facility was supposed to be a “holding area,” where Covid-19 patients would stay while they waited to be transferred to an accredited facility in the city.
She added that only asymptomatic cases are admitted in a holding area. Those with symptoms go directly to an isolation facility.
She said the isolation facility in Lapu-Lapu City has a limited space, which is why some Covid-19 patients spend their quarantine period in the holding area.
Asked if the City Government would be held liable for the OFW’s death, Loreche declined to answer.
“What I can say is that based on the guidelines, the isolation facility in Hoops Dome did not apply for accreditation since the City considers it a holding area,” she said in Cebuano.
If the facility had been accredited and it violated DOH guidelines, then it would be meted sanctions, she said. But since it is not, the DOH cannot impose penalties.
However, Loreche said they can guide the City Government on how to improve the facility, which is what the licensing team did on Monday.
She said they’ve sent a list of requirements for the “holding area” in Hoops Dome to get accredited.
Mayor Junard Chan said the City is considering applying for accreditation, seeing that Covid-19 cases in the city are not going down.
“With the surge in new cases and the City’s isolation facility already reaching its full capacity, opening a holding area was the next logical thing to do and Hoops Dome is the best option there is, given the situation,” Chan said.
Meanwhile, Loreche urged Covid-19 patients to be honest with their medical history to give medical workers monitoring their condition a heads-up.
Loreche said the incident in Lapu-Lapu City should serve as a lesson to management of facilities to apply for accreditation so the DOH can provide guidance and monitor their compliance.
Since cases in Central Visayas continue to go up and more patients need to be isolated, Loreche has recommended that local government units set up more facilities to house them. (KFD)