The Baguio City government and the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) are increasing the bed capacities of their existing isolation units in preparation for a possible surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases due to the Delta variant.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in an interview on Saturday, said they hope to bring the number of beds initially to 1,025, and later on further increase it to 1,300.
He said that at present, the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit at the former Santo Niño Hospital has 360 beds which would be added with 150.
The P20 million earlier allotted for the construction of an additional isolation facility would instead be used for the repairs in an available wing of the facility and for the purchase of additional beds and supplies to allow more Covid-19 patients to be accommodated, he said.
The Baguio City Community Isolation Unit was furnished with equipment last April when the city experienced a surge in cases to accommodate the “step-down” patients from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) to allow the latter to accommodate the severe and critical Covid-19 cases and prevent exhaustion of its health system.
The step-down cases were those who were mild or asymptomatic coronavirus-positive patients undergoing treatments such as dialysis.
Meanwhile, the city government has again requested the Office of Civil Defense and the CDRRMC for funds for the reuse of Eurotel Hotel’s 60 beds and the Ferioni Apartments’ 10 beds which were earlier rented out by the city for isolation of Covid-19 patients.
Aside from the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit, the city’s other existing isolation facilities are at the Baguio Teacher’s Camp and Baguio Convention Center.
As of July 31, the city has 362 active Covid-19 cases while Benguet province has 312.