Issue of May 17, 2020
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DOH okays use of former Sto Niño hospital as isolation site
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

The city government finally got the green light from the Department of Health to operate the former Sto. Niño Jesus Medical as isolation facility for suspect and confirmed coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) cases.

City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo announced in the management committee meeting on May 12 that the DOH has allowed the city government to operate the Sto. Niño Jesus Medical Center as a community isolation unit until December.

Galpo said the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center will provide complementary medical staff in the facility, which the City Health Services Office intends to open by May 18. She said only a few minor requirements need to be completed by her department.

She said CHSO will inform the managements of the different hospitals in the city about the protocols on referrals and patient assessment prior to its opening.

Galpo said the Sto. Niño facility may only be used when there is a surge of cases where local hospitals can no longer contain the number of cases.

The facility will only accept suspect and confirmed Covid-19 cases with mild symptoms. It does not have an out-patient department and walk-in clients are not allowed.

Galpo said patients are required to have with them a referral letter from the hospital or triage area where they were examined.

The facility is also accredited by the PhilHealth.

In a memorandum of understanding with the owners of the facility, the owner has agreed to allow the city government to use the same for one year provided that all renovations, taxes, and other expenses related to its operation shall be shouldered by the local government and the owner is exempt from any liability arising from its use.

After one year, improvements done on the building shall become property of the owner. Movables, such as furniture, may be taken by the city government.

As of May 12, a new Covid-19 case has been recorded in Baguio.

The patient is a 41-year-old police officer assigned in Camp Crame, who visited his sibling, who is a resident of Barangay Dontogan.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered a lockdown of the barangay to give way to the contact tracing by the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.

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