By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — With the bed capacity of big hospitals in Metro Manila for COVID-19 patients already reaching the “high risk” level, the Philippine Red Cross will join forces with Metro Manila mayors in setting up isolation centers in public and private schools in the metropolis.
In a virtual meeting with Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman, and CEO, and several PRC officials on Friday, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. and different NCR mayors committed their cooperation with the PRC on the project which aims to address the overwhelming of the healthcare system.
As part of PRC’s humanitarian efforts, Gordon proposed to partner with the Metro Manila Council in setting up isolation facilities in public and private schools under the jurisdiction of the different LGUs.
The PRC proposes to do the following: provide ambulances to transport patients to these facilities; set-up isolation beds; provide supplementary hot meals; set up shower rooms for their daily hygiene needs; ensure daily monitoring of their condition; and provide an ambulance to transport to hospitals patients who, while in isolation, develop moderate to severe symptoms.
“We can be more effective if we can work together for the same purpose. Ang purpose po natin maalis natin talaga ‘yung dumadami (na COVID-19 infected) doon sa looban.
Dapat mailabas natin para hindi na dumami lalo ‘yung mga maysakit at nakaka-awa ho talaga. Sa mga multi-generation households, madalas ang nag-uuwi ng COVID, ‘yung mga nagtatrabaho sa labas at mahahawaan nila ang mga kasama nila sa bahay, lalo na ang mga magulang nila o iba pang kasama nilang matatanda at sila ang namamatay. Kaya dapat maalis agad sila sa bahay para hindi sila makahawa,” Gordon said.
On the other hand, LGUs are expected to: coordinate the operations of these facilities with the barangay leadership in the zonal areas; assign security personnel for the orderly operations of the facility; provide regular nutritious meals; provide at least one local counterpart to man the area; ensure daily monitoring of their household contacts for possible infection (care of contact tracing assistance); and coordinate with local government hospital for the immediate confinement of patients transferred from these isolation facilities.
Abalos and the various mayors thanked Gordon and the PRC for the continuous assistance in the fight against COVID.
“Sa ngalan po ng Mandaluyong, sobrang tulong ‘nyo po sa ‘min ni Menchie. It is really manna from heaven, what the Red Cross is doing. Maraming salamat po, Senator Gordon at Red Cross,” Abalos said.
“Kailangan na kailangan po namin iyan. Naka-link ito sa hinihingi naming permission sa DepEd na magamit ang additional two schools para maging isolation facilities. We really need these nonetheless because close to 500 households ang may positive,” Mayor Ike Ponce of Pateros also said for his part. (AI/MTVN)