THE Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) has seen the suspension of operations of one of the Covid-19 quarantine facilities in Cebu City as a welcome development.
The Bayanihan Cebu Sacred Heart School (SHS) Field Center, which operates as an infirmary treating mild coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, had suspended operations as of Oct. 1.
In a post on its Facebook page, Bayanihan Cebu PH explained that this decision was “due to the declining trend in Covid-19 cases in Cebu.”
Sec. Michael Lloyd Dino, presidential assistant for the Visayas, said this latest development shows a marked improvement in Cebu’s anti-Covid-19 campaign.
Early on, the Opav recognized the need for coordinated efforts in the fight against the pandemic. The Opav then rallied government and private sectors so they could come up with measures to prepare for the projected increase in the number of cases. This resulted in the creation of the Bayanihan Cebu PH.
It is a multi-sectoral partnership between the Opav, Regional Development Council 7, Department of Health 7, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, Society of Jesus of the Philippines, Archdiocese of Cebu, Cebu Caritas Inc., LH Foundation Inc. and Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
The measures included adding provisional health care capacity, acquisition of personal protective equipment and the conduct of mass testing to determine the prevalence of Covid-19 cases in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
“The (48-bed Bayanihan SHS) facility was built to address the congestion in Cebu hospitals caused by the rising cases of Covid-19,” Opav Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales reported during the Laging Handa Network Briefing News.
Another facility, the 130-bed Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center, which is located at the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Convention Center along Pope John Paul II Ave. in Cebu City, was also set up.
“Our collective efforts have paid off. The contribution of various sectors made this happen,” Dino said. He also lauded business sector, medical frontliners, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for their valuable contribution to the anti-Covid-19 campaign.
To recall, Cebu City once was considered the country’s Covid-19 hotspot but it has managed to flatten the curve in recent weeks, with proactive measures implemented to contain the infection.
Now, Cebu has even become a model for other cities in the country in terms of managing the Covid-19 crisis.
Following this development, Dino thanked Edmun Liu, chairman of Bayanihan Cebu PH, for their continued support to the government in the fight against Covid-19.
“We have to give recognition to the private sector, especially the businessmen who always make their initiatives possible for the general public. This is a very good example of a public private partnership,” Dino said.
The DOH 7 has reported that Central Visayas has a recovery rate of 89.28 percent, as of Thursday, Oct. 8. It has a capacity utilization rate of 13.3 percent (12.1 percent for regular Covid-19 beds and 22.5 percent of ICU Covid beds).
The availability of different Covid-19 health care requirements is 78 percent for ICU beds, 67 percent for isolation beds, 70 percent for ward beds and 74 percent for ventilators.
Dino also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Bong Go for their continued support for Cebu’s fight against the pandemic.
“While the government continues to be proactive in our fight against the Covid-19 crisis, this is definitely good news. It shows that we are making real progress in the interventions we have done in this battle,” Dino said.
“In fact, we are bringing the best practices that have been done in Cebu to other areas in the Visayas to help them manage their rising cases of Covid-19. Opav has been leading this initiative,” Dino said.
The Bayanihan Cebu SHS facility started accepting patients in the first week of May. At the time, Cebu was on enhanced community quarantine because of the high number of cases.
Based on Bayanihan Cebu’s data, the SHS facility had 99 recovered Covid-19 patients. On the other hand, there are 179 recovered patients from the IEC facility, as of Oct. 4.
The Bayanihan SHS facility endorsed the remaining Covid-19 patients to the Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center.
Bayanihan Cebu, however, explained that they would reactivate the SHS facility if the need would arise.
In the meantime, a minimal number of staff will still be assigned to the closed facility for its proper maintenance. (PR)