DUMAGUETE CITY – The provincial government of Negros Oriental is setting up a “tent city” isolation facility for asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in anticipation of a further surge of cases here.
The 30-bed surge-capacity facility consists of individual tents under a bigger tent with individual cots and mattresses and electric fans, Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion said in an interview Friday afternoon.
Bathrooms and toilets are to be shared but there will be regular disinfection plus strict observance of health and safety protocols, she said.
The “tent city” is located at the northernmost portion of the Gov. Mariano Perdices Memorial Coliseum and will be manned by new doctors who attended medical school as scholars of the provincial government, she added.
Other health workers will also be deployed there 24/7, as well as a security guard to ensure that patients will not leave the confines of the isolation facility, Estacion said.
Positive cases that are asymptomatic will be accepted for “admission” for free, depending on the referrals from the local government units, she said.
When a patient develops symptoms while at the “tent city”, that person will be assessed before transfer to a hospital.
The project is funded by the We Heal As One Bayanihan Grant, although its actual cost has yet to be determined as it is not yet completed.
Estacion, who heads the health committee of the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said they are hoping that the “tent city” isolation facility will be operational by next week.
Currently, installation of electric fans and wiring and last-minute add-ons is ongoing although the tents and individual “rooms” are already in place.
Estacion said the facility is “reusable” because once the pandemic is over, this can be used for other purposes in the future as these are movable objects. (PNA)