GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Health authorities in Sarangani are eyeing to operate by next month the national government-funded PHP55-million isolation and treatment center for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in Alabel town.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani health officer, said on Tuesday the construction of the facility has been completed and they are only waiting for the installation of the necessary equipment, among them the internet connection and security cameras.
Alejandro said they have requested for the release of around PHP1 million for the installation of at least 38 closed-circuit television or CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi internet system.
“The installation could take 12 to 14 days so we’re targeting the third week (of August) for the occupancy and operationalization,” he said in a presentation during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board’s regular session.
Dubbed Sarangani Covid-19 Center, the construction of the facility in Barangay Ladol, Alabel started in October last year and was due for completion last January.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the project implementer, commissioned the Gemma Construction Supply Inc. based in Koronadal City to build the facility.
But Alejandro said the construction work was delayed supposedly due to the late delivery of materials and supplies ordered from China and other concerns.
Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon referred the matter last month to the DPWH central office, prompting the contractor to double its workforce at the site in the last three weeks.
Dr. Aileen Brion, chief of the Sarangani Health Care Facility, said the Covid-19 Center was designed to accommodate at least 100 beds but they will initially operate 50 to 80 beds.
She said the facility will have dedicated rooms for confirmed and probable patients, administrative area, triage area, oxygen and supply rooms, and other amenities.
“We will have designated an emergency care unit, which will have a cardiac monitor and mechanical ventilator,” she said.
The rooms have air conditioning units, comfort rooms, and televisions sets, while the local government has prepared online programs for the patients during their stay, among them sessions on stress debriefing.
Brion said they have organized three teams, with each reporting for duty for 30 days before undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Each team is composed of two doctors, six to eight nurses, two utility or orderly staff, and one laundry staff, she said.
Brion added the equipment and medical supplies are now ready for transfer to the facility, which is awaiting accreditation by the Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PNA)