GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The provincial government of South Cotabato is working on the expansion of its existing treatment and isolation facilities for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to cope with the increasing locally transmitted infections.
South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said Monday they are currently coordinating with the province’s 10 municipalities and lone city for the establishment of more isolation centers as local government-run isolation centers are already facing problems on availability of spaces while private hospitals catering to Covid-19 patients are now full.
The 15 available beds at the Soccsksargen General Hospital (SGH) in Surallah town, the province’s dedicated treatment facility for moderate to severe patients, are also presently occupied, he said.
Tamayo said they decided to convert the pay wing of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City into an isolation facility to help ease the problem.
“We are talking with doctors and our private hospitals to maximize their capacity for Covid-19 and move the excess patients to the SGH in a case of a surge later on,” he said in his weekly radio program “Ang Gobernador kag ang Katawhan (the governor and the people).”
Tamayo said the local government is awaiting approval from the Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration to purchase additional stocks of Remdesivir, which is used in treating severe cases of Covid-19.
He said the supplies of the drug in the area have already run out, prompting hospitals to “just boost the immune system of patients” to fight the disease.
The active Covid-19 cases in the province as of Sunday night increased to 377, with Koronadal City posting 177, the highest among the cities and municipalities in Region 12 (Soccksargen).
The confirmed cases in the area since last year already reached a total of 2,337, with 57 related deaths and 1,903 recoveries. Two of the latest fatalities were employees of the city government.
Tamayo said the recorded cases do not include symptomatic patients who have tested positive in rapid antigen tests.
“This situation should serve as a warning to everyone. We’re seeing a rapid spread of Covid-19 because of laxity and the complacency of some people,” he said.
The province, through Executive Order No. 21 issued by the governor, reverted to the stricter general community quarantine and implemented border restrictions for one month starting May 1 to curb the rising Covid-19 cases. (PNA)